Inspired by the noble spirit of the “king of ships,” Bạch Thái Bưởi, Phạm Hà steered the LuxGroup (www.luxgroup.vn) vessel confidently through turbulent waters for nearly two decades, thanks to his thoughtful approach to business.
Fostering Luxury Travel Experiences for Many Vietnamese
Operating in the luxury travel sector, LuxGroup’s cruise ships cater to high-end international clients, especially European tourists. However, when the pandemic struck more than three years ago, the industry faced a massive storm, with numerous tours being postponed or canceled and the entire travel sector suffering a downturn.
Reflecting on those gloomy days in 2020, Hà recalled that for him and his team, days without revenue felt endless. Many travel companies were forced to shut down or withdraw from the competition due to the lack of income.
Yet, ever since Hà embarked on this business path following in Bạch Thái Bưởi’s footsteps, the words “give up” were absent from his dictionary. Learning from ten inspiring leadership qualities of his predecessor, including focus, passion, vision, empowerment, confidence, integrity, sharp instincts, decisiveness, transparency, and creativity, Hà quickly devised strategies to pivot in the face of adversity. As a result, the business continued to generate revenue and internal capabilities were upgraded.
Following Bạch Thái Bưởi’s path, LuxGroup focused on the domestic market and not only built a brand but also created a trend of cruising among Vietnamese people. Bạch Thái Bưởi later became an exemplary figure for many Vietnamese entrepreneurs, with his principles of integrity, professionalism, credibility, perseverance, determination, respect for the profession, business ethics, communication, thrift, and prioritizing domestic products.
LuxGroup’s Major Transformation: Focusing on the Domestic Market
One significant transformation for LuxGroup came in mid-2020 when they shifted their focus to the domestic market, concentrating on premium local customers rather than primarily serving European tourists as before.
They created domestic-oriented cabins and a website dedicated to premium domestic travel. All sales representatives, previously catering to international clients, were convinced to switch to serving domestic customers and were trained to understand the needs of local tourists.
While this strategic shift aimed to ensure revenue while waiting for the recovery of international markets, it also presented an opportunity for Hà to introduce luxury travel experiences with a “wow” factor to Vietnamese tourists at affordable prices.
For example, in March 2021, brands like Heritage Cruises, Emperor Cruises Halong, and Nha Trang sold over ten thousand vouchers at a 40% discount compared to pre-COVID-19 times.
Hà expressed his desire for more Vietnamese people to experience the kind of luxury travel Bạch Thái Bưởi once envisioned, one that values cultural heritage, culinary delights, and authentic interactions with local people.
Bringing the “Wow” Factor to Travelers
As a pioneer in redefining luxury travel, Hà emphasized that, apart from offering high-quality premium travel products, the key lies in providing exceptional service and authentic cultural experiences that resonate deeply with travelers.
Hà believed that in today’s travel industry, it’s all about experiential destinations and memories. Over the years, he focused on investing in outstanding experiences to leave a lasting impression in customers’ memories, thus building the strength of the brand.
He declared that LuxGroup was the first group in Vietnam to declare a 100% customer satisfaction rate and a true “Wow” experience. To achieve this, the company built a customer-centric service culture, aiming to touch customers’ emotions throughout the entire process.
The innovative experiences provided on Vietnam’s most beautiful bays, such as Nha Trang, Halong Bay, Bái Tử Long, and Lan Hạ, under the Emperor Cruises and Heritage Cruises brands, bring positive values to the travelers’ hearts and minds.
LuxGroup offers a range of luxury travel collections, such as Luxury Travel, Secret Hideaway Collection, SO Lux, Lux X Signatures, Adventura Travel for adventurous and dynamic tours, and Lux Travel Dmc, specializing in high-end tailor-made travel experiences.
For LuxGroup’s guests, each day is a personalized experience tailored to their interests and preferences, authentic and unique. They get to meet locals, savor meals with their private chefs at restaurants, and enjoy unexpected “wow” moments.
Staff Experience Shapes Customer Experience
Hà stressed that luxurious service is the result of the right attitude, elevating service to an art form, and efficient standard processes. In a highly competitive industry concerning personnel and travel experiences, where destinations, hotels, and restaurants may appear similar, the company’s corporate culture and dedicated personnel become the key to differentiating and gaining an advantage.
He valued the importance of people and recognized that to create a “wow” experience for customers and leave a lasting brand impression, first, they must ensure a great experience for the staff.
According to Hà, the human factor cannot be copied, so businesses that build a professional, competent, attentive, and customer-centric team will stand out and gain an edge in this vibrant industry. Quality does not happen naturally; it is the result of dedication, full effort, smart guidance, and high standards in professional skills.
LuxGroup does not have marketing and human resources departments; instead, they have business development and growth departments, and a talent and corporate culture department. The company’s work environment is built on equality and mutual respect, with everyone progressing together along a structured path, enjoying the deserved treatment.
“We make a difference through a team of young, dynamic, creative individuals who are proficient in English and six other Western languages. All work with the customer as the focal point,” Hà shared.
Due to the nature of the travel and service industry, LuxGroup’s staff predominantly consists of young individuals. The company empowers women and young talents with business acumen, adherence to the mission of sustainable and responsible business, passion, and clear goals.
From a Dream of Luxury Travel to a Global Corporation
Initiating the dream of luxury cruises and travel to elevate Vietnam’s tourism in 2005, LuxGroup has grown into a multinational corporation, operating in various countries worldwide, with over 300 employees active in various sectors, including travel, hotels, cruises, tour buses, serving 50,000 guests annually, achieving two-digit growth, overcoming the hurdles of Covid-19, and welcoming the first international tourists when Vietnam reopened for travel on March 15, 2022.
Hà emphasizes that a strong corporate culture acts as a lever to help businesses overcome challenges and achieve strategic objectives. Human resources strategy is based on a strong culture, which is consistently implemented with the business strategy in different phases, enabling the company to navigate through every storm and sail into open seas.
“Inspired by noble entrepreneur Bạch Thái Bưởi, I have learned that a thoughtful business approach, centered around people’s experiences, is the secret to the success of the leading luxury travel and cruise brands in Vietnam for almost two decades,” Hà shared.