Doing Business

How to set up a travel agency in Vietnam

Trường Lăng

October 19, 2023

Doing Business

How to set up a travel agency in Vietnam

Trường Lăng

October 19, 2023

Vietnam’s travel industry is a vibrant and rapidly growing sector that has been capturing the attention of foreign investors. In recent years, the travel business in Vietnam has witnessed remarkable growth, driven by favorable tourism policies, an array of breathtaking attractions, and significant infrastructure development. The country’s unique blend of rich cultural heritage and natural beauty makes it an irresistible destination for tourists worldwide.

As the interest of foreign investors in establishing their presence in the Vietnamese travel industry continues to surge, it becomes imperative to delve into the details of setting up a travel agency in this dynamic market. This article serves as a comprehensive guide for those looking to explore the potential of the travel agency in Vietnam. We’ll analyze market trends, outline essential legal requirements, provide insights into business planning, and offer valuable advice on navigating the unique challenges and opportunities presented by Vietnam’s travel industry.

Market Analysis of the Travel Business in Vietnam

The travel industry in Vietnam is experiencing remarkable growth, making it an enticing prospect for investors looking to set up a travel agency in Vietnam. Recent statistics indicate a substantial increase in tourist arrivals, with over 18 million international visitors welcomed in 2019, showcasing the sector’s resilience and potential. This surge is attributed to progressive tourism policies, an array of captivating tourist attractions, and substantial investments in infrastructure development.

Exploring the Growth Trends in the Travel Industry in Vietnam

Examining recent statistics reveals a compelling narrative of the remarkable expansion within Vietnam’s travel industry. Preceding the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam basked in a record influx of international visitors in 2019, marking an uninterrupted growth trend in visitor numbers since 2016. However, the pandemic and the ensuing travel constraints cast a shadow over this thriving sector, causing a precipitous drop in international arrivals in 2020 and 2021. In a bid to rejuvenate the tourism sector, Vietnam lifted its travel restrictions by March 2022. The year 2022 witnessed the return of approximately 3.66 million international visitors to Vietnam, signifying the industry’s revival.

Several key factors contribute to this exponential growth. Vietnam’s open and welcoming tourism policies, including visa exemptions and streamlined visa procedures, have significantly eased the process of entering the country. In the initial 15 days following the implementation of the new visa policy, there has been a significant surge in electronic visa applications, with a total of 112,058 submissions. This represents a remarkable increase of more than 70% compared to the period prior to the policy’s enactment. 

Furthermore, Vietnam’s diverse range of attractions plays a pivotal role in enticing tourists. From the bustling streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter to the serene beauty of Halong Bay and the vibrant Mekong Delta, the country offers something for every traveler. Rich cultural heritage, historical landmarks, and pristine natural landscapes create an irresistible allure for those seeking unique and authentic experiences. As a result, over the past five years, Vietnam received recognition as the top global heritage destination on three occasions, earned the title of Asia’s leading destination four times, and was named the leading golf tourism destination in Asia for the sixth time.

Exploring the Growth Trends in the Travel Industry in Vietnam
Vietnam’s diverse range of attractions plays a pivotal role in enticing tourists. Source: Internet

Infrastructure development has also been a driving force behind the growth of the travel industry. Investments in modern airports, highways, and accommodation options have made it easier for travelers to explore Vietnam’s diverse regions. For example, by the end of June 2022, Vietnam had about 33,330 tourist accommodation establishments with 667,000 rooms. This increased accessibility enhances the overall tourism experience and encourages tourists to explore beyond the traditional tourist hubs.

Target Demographics for Tour Operation in Vietnam

To successfully establish a travel agency in Vietnam, it’s crucial to have a deep understanding of the primary target audience for travel services in the country. Vietnam’s appeal extends to a broad spectrum of tourists, but several key demographics stand out.

  • Culture Enthusiasts: Vietnam’s rich history and diverse cultural heritage attract travelers with a keen interest in exploring ancient temples, historical sites, and traditional customs. These tourists often seek immersive experiences that allow them to engage with local communities and traditions.
  • Adventure Seekers: The country’s varied landscapes, from towering mountain ranges to pristine coastlines, make Vietnam a haven for adventure enthusiasts. Activities like trekking, water sports, and motorbike tours draw travelers seeking adrenaline-pumping experiences.
  • Food Connoisseurs: Vietnamese cuisine is renowned worldwide for its flavors and freshness. Food-focused tourists flock to Vietnam to savor authentic dishes and explore bustling street food scenes. Culinary tours and cooking classes are highly popular among this demographic.
  • Nature Lovers: Vietnam’s natural beauty, including lush jungles, serene rice terraces, and exotic wildlife, appeals to nature enthusiasts. Eco-tourism and wildlife safaris are favorite choices for these travelers.
  • Backpackers: Vietnam’s affordability and well-established backpacker culture make it a hotspot for budget-conscious tourists. Hostels, street food, and inexpensive transport options cater to this demographic.

Understanding the preferences and behaviors of tourists visiting Vietnam is equally essential. Travelers often value experiences that provide insights into local culture, interactions with friendly locals, and opportunities to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. Tailoring travel services to align with these preferences can lead to success in the vibrant Vietnamese travel industry.

Target Demographics for Tour Operation in Vietnam
Vietnamese cuisine is renowned worldwide for its flavors and freshness. Source: Internet

Step-by-Step Guide to Establishing a Travel Agency in Vietnam

When embarking on the journey to establish a travel agency in Vietnam, it’s essential to navigate through a series of critical steps diligently. Understanding these steps in detail is crucial for a successful venture into the travel services industry within Vietnam.

Legal Requirements and Licensing for Travel Agencies in Vietnam

Prior to establishing your travel agency, it’s paramount to ensure complete adherence to Vietnam’s legal regulations. This encompasses the acquisition of the essential licenses and permits that are mandatory for conducting business operations within the country. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is the governing body responsible for overseeing tourism-related licensing. To successfully initiate your travel agency, it is essential to acquaint yourself with the precise licensing prerequisites and procedures stipulated by the VNAT. This crucial step forms the bedrock for the smooth, legal operation of your business.

The procedures for setting up a travel agency necessitate specific documentation, including a formal request for business establishment registration and a travel business license. In terms of charter capital, a mandatory deposit must be made in a designated bank. The deposit amounts are as follows:

  • For providing travel services to inbound tourists: 50,000,000 VND.
  • For providing travel services to outbound tourists: 100,000,000 VND.
  • For offering travel services to both inbound and outbound tourists: 100,000,000 VND.

These regulations are established under Decree 94/2021/ND-CP, emphasizing the importance of strict compliance in your pursuit of establishing a legally operating travel agency in Vietnam.

Business Planning and Registration for Travel Services in Vietnam

Crafting a comprehensive business plan is the foundational cornerstone for a successful travel agency. Your business plan should intricately outline your agency’s objectives, target market, an exhaustive list of services you intend to offer, and detailed financial projections. Beyond conceptualization, registering your travel agency as a legal entity is pivotal for both liability protection and establishing your business’s credibility. Consider legal structures such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a Joint-Stock Company to initiate your operations with a strong legal foothold.

Location and Infrastructure for Travel Agencies in Vietnam

Selecting the right location for your travel agency plays a pivotal role in your business’s success. Optimal locations include areas with high foot traffic, proximity to tourist hubs, or places with easy accessibility for your target customers. Furthermore, the establishment of an inviting office space is crucial. This encompasses essential infrastructure such as advanced booking systems, effective communication tools, and a welcoming ambiance. This holistic approach ensures that your travel agency operates seamlessly while enhancing customer service, ultimately leading to customer satisfaction and business growth.

Location and Infrastructure for Travel Agencies in Vietnam
Selecting the right location for your travel agency plays a pivotal role in your business’s success. Source: Internet

Staffing and Training for Tour Operation in Vietnam

Your travel agency’s staff plays a central role in shaping your business’s reputation and customer satisfaction levels. To ensure a successful operation, it’s essential to hire qualified and experienced staff who are well-versed in the intricacies of the tourism industry and exceptional customer service. Additionally, providing ongoing training to your team is vital. This keeps them updated on the latest industry trends and customer expectations, enabling them to provide exceptional service consistently. Exceptional staff can elevate your agency’s reputation, foster customer loyalty, and contribute significantly to your business’s success.

Mindful Notes When Establishing a Travel Agencies in Vietnam

While embarking on your journey to establish a travel agency in Vietnam, understanding and embracing the local culture is paramount. Cultural sensitivity is more than just a courtesy; it’s a core aspect of providing exceptional service in the travel industry. In Vietnam, respecting customs, traditions, and social norms is key to forging meaningful connections with both your clients and local partners. For instance, understanding the significance of traditional Vietnamese holidays, greetings, and gestures can go a long way in building rapport. To further illustrate, addressing elders with proper titles like “ông” and “bà” shows respect for age and experience.

Competitor Analysis plays a pivotal role in ensuring your travel agency thrives in the dynamic Vietnamese market. As the tourism industry continues to grow, the landscape becomes increasingly competitive. Statistical data reveals that in 2019 Vietnam is home to 2,67 thousand travel agencies. Hence, conducting a comprehensive analysis of the local travel market helps you identify gaps, opportunities, and areas where your agency can stand out. Strategies to differentiate your services could include curated tours that showcase unique cultural experiences, partnerships with local businesses, or innovative marketing campaigns that resonate with your target audience.

Sustainable Tourism Practices are not just a global trend but a necessity in the travel business. In Vietnam, eco-friendly and responsible tourism practices are gaining traction. Travelers increasingly seek experiences that minimize environmental impact and promote the well-being of local communities. By adopting sustainable tourism practices, such as reducing single-use plastics, supporting local artisans, and contributing to conservation efforts, your travel agency can align with evolving customer preferences while contributing positively to the destinations you serve.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, venturing into the thriving travel industry in Vietnam offers immense potential for foreign investors. The robust growth trends, diverse demographics of tourists, and the increasing focus on sustainable practices make it an attractive destination for establishing a travel agency in Vietnam. The opportunities are abundant, but so are the challenges. Navigating these waters requires in-depth market knowledge, cultural sensitivity, and a commitment to sustainability. At Viettonkin, we understand the intricacies of the Vietnamese market and possess the expertise to assist you in every step of your journey to set up a travel agency in Vietnam. Whether it’s legal requirements, market analysis, or fostering local partnerships, we have the resources and experience to ensure your success. Don’t miss out on the vibrant travel landscape of Vietnam. Contact Viettonkin today and let us be your trusted partner in realizing your travel agency dreams in Vietnam.

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