Ecohostbuilds brand of homestay
(Author: LE HUONG)
The quality of the home-stay service needs to be upgraded and branded to create the trust for visitors. This is a service not yet explored in the tourism market today. This is also the start-up idea of Ecohost – a startup business that goes into operation less than a year.
Ecohost is a business model focused on improving local home-stay travel experiences and making online reservations easier.
Support for the service building
There are no official statistics on the number of homestay visitors in Vietnam. But this is the type of tourism is attracting large domestic tourists and foreign tourists. Many farmers have good income from homestay services. However, the quality of homestay services across the country is uneven, leading to disappointment. Therefore, the need to find a reliable homestay destination for a trip is justified.
Ms.Bui Thi Nhan – CEO of Ecohost, said: “I have worked for many years in the tourism industry, especially in tourism ticket development projects. The homestay in Vietnam, especially in the Red River delta, is very primitive and the quality of service is not good, so visitors are here. Not so much though, this is a land that has many features of culture, history and landscape. So, I and some friends decided to build a business model that builds the service from the first step to the last step”.
This start-up company has begun conducting home-stay surveys across the Red River Delta for quality assessment. The company then advises households on how to design the space, architecture and support them to upgrade the quality of service and promote the product. When meeting those criteria, homestay will become a member of Ecohost and will be responsible for its own services. Ecohost becomes the intermediary between the visitor and the homestay and receives commissions from the visitor’s payment.
Ms. Nhan said: “We provide free training for homestay bosses so they know how to best serve their guests, including the flexibility of cooking to suit your taste. Ecohost offers specific criteria, even for blankets, sheets, pillows and cushions. ” Not only that, with homestay facilities that do not guarantee the conditions to serve tourists, we support funding to upgrade homestay. The amount of support from 50 to 100 million VND per family.
According to the CEO of Ecohost, the homestay and networking of these households are not unfamiliar in the tourism community of Vietnam. The difference of this start-up is the construction of criteria to set standards for homestay. This standard is referenced from the durable tourist homestay standards of tourism organizations around the world.
Experiences of local culture are the current trend of community tourism, some companies are also intermediaries connecting visitors and homestay but do not advise on product development and training to improve quality of service. Ecohost does this with a view to creating sustainable tourism.
When problems arise, customers will respond directly and the management system immediately recognize. The assessment of homestay quality is based on the quality standards of the place of stay and the quality of service provided. Business households need to focus on keeping their reputations.
BUI THANH NHAN
CEO of Ecohost
Experiences of to local culture is the current trend of community tourism, some companies are also intermediaries connecting visitors and homestay but do not advise on product development and training to improve quality of service. Ecohost does this with a view to creating sustainable tourism.
Long way with many difficulties
With this concept and development strategy, Ecohost has been selected as one of the five startups in Southeast Asia to receive support from the Mekong Tourism Initiative (MIST) initiative. This start-up business in the tourism industry will develop from the Red River delta and spread throughout the country. It will then expand to neighboring countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. This year, three standard homestays will be put into operation, serving about 2,700 visitors and generating a profit of about $ 21,600.
Ms. Bui ThanhNhan said: “Our job now is to complete homestay construction in Nam Dinh province and then build a complete website so that customers can easily access the service and facilitate the interaction. Then we will continue to upgrade our homestay. Our 2019 plan is to develop 10 homestays with an expected 9,000 visitors, generating a profit of $ 72,000.
On the consumer segment, Ecohost expects to serve 70% of domestic visitors and 30% of foreign visitors. The CEO of Ecohost said that the demand for homestay tourism of domestic travelers is huge. Many families orient their children to travel to experience everyday life in different lands for greater awareness and social insight.
Families who use the service monthly or quarterly will be provided with a VIP card. The communication channel for Ecohost’s clients is through potential travel companies along with aggressive product promotion strategies with the message that eco-friendly travel, sustainable development.To do this, the main staff of the company is only three people, the remaining staff support experts in the form of collaborators. Ecohost also calls for support from international NGOs working in this area.
“In the past, many NGOs have come to the countryside of Vietnam and have supported the people in implementing community-based tourism. Many households have difficulty in developing, so Ecohost wants to develop homesteads that can be developed on their own. Like many start-ups, Ecohost has the biggest problem of capital. In the near future we will call for investment to build and upgrade the quality of homestay services” said MsThanhNhan.
Sharing the new way is not easy, Thanh Nhan said, “It really takes us a lot of time and this project requires us to have great perseverance. From the time we surveyed to home-stay, it took 3 months, the training time was 3 months, and then we had the basics to hit. This quality of service requires commitment from people and is committed to changing our habits and practices to create high-quality service. This is our dream and we have been determined to do this for many years.
In 2018, the MIST program will support 10 innovative travel and tourism companies. This is MIST’s second year of implementation of this program, which identifies and assists fast-growing tourism and service businesses to bring positive results to the local economy, environment and community.
This program receives a great deal of support from the Asian Development Bank, the Australian Government and the MTCO. The two core programs of MIST include accelerated start-ups and market access.
- Tech changing face of Vietnamese tourism
- Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) Announces Support for 10 Innovative Travel Companies