Innovative Start-Up Exploit Technology To Unlock Tourism Potential

By Khanh Duong
Vietnam News, Hanoi / Asia News Network

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) After realizing there was a market for helping travelers experience a city with a local resident, entrepreneur Vu Thai An launched “Tubudd”, a digital platform connecting travelers and people who know the sites and sounds of Vietnamese cities firsthand.

Vietnam News, Hanoi / Asia News Network

What’s the best way to explore a city from a local point of view?

For Vu Thai An, the CEO of a tourism start-up, it’s traveling with local people.

About five years ago before starting her masters in Manchester, An took a tour around Vietnam as a backpacker with two Canadian friends. During the trip, she realized there was a market for helping foreign backpackers to avoid tourist traps and experience true Vietnamese life.

Most tours and individual trips don’t offer this experience and cost more than necessary with restricted schedules.

An nurtured the dream of connecting foreign tourists with locals in Vietnam while she was completing her master’s degree, and when she returned a year ago, she made that dream a reality with Vietnamese and British friends by setting up Tubudd, a digital platform connecting travelers and local people.

Like searching for hotels on booking platforms, travelers can find local tour guides on Tubudd’s website and app, known as ‘buddies’, who meet their travel interests and budgets through a few simple clicks.

Each buddy profile gives tourists a brief introduction of the guides and their ratings.

Buddies are not required to be professional tour guides but must pass strict selection rounds with the two most important criteria being a foreign language and knowledge of the city they are from.

A lot of young people across Vietnam who are passionate about traveling and willing to show their country to visitors have become buddies. Now Tubudd has a network of over 400 buddies across 15 provinces and cities.

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