Tourism startup eyes Cambodia operations

By Phong Van, Gia Hoang   July 18, 2019 | 05:10 pm PT
Tourism startup eyes Cambodia operations
I Love Asia Tour's women riders posing for a photo in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo acquired by VnExpress.
Vietnamese startup I Love Asia Tour, which provides female motorbike tours in Vietnam and Laos, is planning to enter Cambodian market next month.

"With the goal of expanding into Laos, Cambodia and Asia, I Love Asia Tour wants to take the women-entrepreneur model further, offering opportunities to Asian women, and enhancing their roles and contribution to society," said founder of the firm Nguyen Thi Huong Lien.

The company currently has 150 female bikers, mostly university students, who took over 2,000 visitors to sightsee Vietnam and Laos last year.

I Love Asia Tour’s personnel in all departments are all women, from IT, administration to tour guides. "Most people assume that drivers are usually male, but women drivers are also energetic, enthusiastic, and eager to learn. They need to be empowered and given the opportunity to grow," said founder Lien.

Lien came up with the idea of an all-women bike tour service in 2014, in her third year at the Hue University of Foreign Languages. 

With an initial investment of VND2 million ($86.37) saved up from a part-time job, Lien built the startup’s website and programs by herself. The 25-year old entrepreneur took advantage of the growth of social networks like TripAdvisor to market her tours, calling for reviews.

Lien incorporated the startup in 2016, and expanded operations to Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. In mid-2018, it also began providing the same services in Laos, with 15 female drivers.

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