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Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, CEO of I Love Hue Tour Company, speaks with IWTA

Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, CEO of I Love Hue Tour Company, speaks with IWTA

Nguyen Thi Huong Lien was an aspirational young lady. She opened a modest tour company with just $100 USD in hand, knowing that it would give her plenty of opportunity to improve her English through conversations with foreign visitors to Hue.

The CEO of I Love Hue Tour, Nguyen Thi Huong Lien, spoke with the IWTA Committee about her love of travel and tourism and how she founded a tour company while still a student.

How did you begin working in the travel sector? And why does the travel sector?

A: In my third year of college, I launched my tourism business, I Love Hue Tour. My goal was to increase my English language skills by conversing with strangers. After realizing that the tourism business is a sensible one that gives me regular opportunities to interact with international tourists, I made the decision to become qualified as a tour guide and organize female scooter excursions in Hue, Vietnam.

It became my passion because I saw the potential in female students working in the tourism sector; as a result of our employment, we gain confidence every day. Furthermore, the neighborhood prospers when we do the trips to nearby companies and non-governmental organization initiatives. Indeed, tourism has a significant positive impact on our economy.

Could you describe a pivotal experience from your life that sparked your love of travel?

A: In 2017 at the APEC summit, I got to meet Mrs. Sheryl Sanberg. It was the pinnacle of my experience managing I Love Hue Tour, my own business. I vividly recall that when we first met, we talked a lot about community and gender equality. My enthusiasm for women’s empowerment was ignited after meeting her, and I worked assiduously to establish the business in five Vietnamese towns and one Laotian city in the hopes of helping more female students with their English language proficiency and financial literacy through employment in the travel and tourist sector. We rebranded the business as the I Love Asia Tour in 2020. In total, 180 female students from the area came and assisted us as tour guides.

Being a CEO is not an easy journey; in order to be able to guide my team, I must embrace the fact that I am a lifelong learner.

Could you describe a difficult project you worked on in your travel industry and the steps you took to overcome it?

A CEO’s journey is not a simple one; in order to effectively manage my team, I must embrace the daily learning that comes with the job. Managing the finances is a problem for me because I have to ensure steady revenue growth and profit for the company. I took several finance classes to gain additional knowledge of this crucial ability, and it was beneficial.

Q: In what ways has your employment or work in travel increased your awareness of various cultures and customs?

A: Tourism is a sensible sector, as I have stated. It enables me to gain knowledge from individuals worldwide on a variety of viewpoints. I continually learn new things about history, culture, customs, language, and tradition as a tour guide so that I can educate visitors. I am really appreciative of my tour guide profession since it has allowed me to travel the world and make many friends. I also get to learn new things every day at work.

Tour I Love Hue

Could you tell us about how you came to launch your own travel-related project or business?

A: I got $100 USD in cash when I developed and organized the I Love Hue Tour. When I was a university student, I constructed nearly everything by myself. My goals were to improve my English and use tourism to give back to the local community. While I initially had assistance from IT for the website builder, I put in a lot of effort on my own to handle the remaining tasks, which included recruiting, forming partnerships, social media marketing, content authoring, tour guiding, financial administration, and tour operation.

All of them have forced me to quickly pick up the skills I need to properly manage the startup. The company was once known as I Love Hue Tour, then in 2018 it changed its name to I Love Vietnam Tour. We finally created the I Love Asia Tour, a global branding initiative, in 2020. After COVID 19, we are now growing a small business once more, thus the I Love Hue Tour is still in place.

What alterations in travel patterns do you foresee following the pandemic?

A: I believe the tourist sector is working to grow sustainably, and following COVID 19, I want to see more environmentally friendly travel. I hope more eco-friendly travel may be developed. Furthermore, it would be fantastic if tourism could encourage more neighborhood events.

What character or identity would you choose if you could inhabit any role in the world?

A: My goal is to represent women in the travel and tourism sector.

Source- Travel daily

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