After 12 years in the travel industry, Mr. Nguyen Nhat Vu (a.k.a Max) is increasingly sure of his goals and mission. In this world, there are things we cannot control but on the other hand, we can make many choices ourselves. For Mr. Vu, an “artisan” creating unique tours is the image he aspires to become.
Let’s meet Mr. Nguyen Nhat Vu, CEO of FIT Tour – Truly Experiences and listen to the stories of his own journey and works!
In 2008, I studied Business Administration in Tourism major and since graduation, I have clung to the tourism industry only. I am inspired about travel by adventure books, which make me have a passion to discover new places. I think the ultimate goal of humans is to do everything to have a better life, and travel is also a way to enjoy life. That’s why I decided to enter the industry where I can earn a living and at the same time satisfy my interests.
One of the first people to inspire me is Mr. Nguyen Van My, my teacher and former boss, who teaches tour design and operation. The second person is Mrs. Cam Nhung, teaching tour guide profession. These are core lessons for any one working in the travel industry. The way they express, convey, the way they speak, or act is full of enthusiasm just like young people in their 18s and 20s, even though they were both in their sixties at that time. I really admire that they can keep such a big passion after a very long time and pass it on to me.
I have never ever regretted anything in my past journey when I learned, experienced a lot, and had the chance to meet many talented people. This is also one of the biggest motivations for me on my career path.
July 25, 2011 marked the first time I went abroad. I traveled for an internship in Cambodia. I really loved it, even the feeling of having a visa stamp on my passport, and even to a country very close to Vietnam like that. Up till now, I have been to Cambodia around 70 times and have gradually fallen in love with this place.
I feel overwhelmed in front of a great wonder and world heritage like Angkor Wat, then dream of visiting more wonders like Taj Mahal, Pyramids, Great Wall,… I want to see the natural as well as man-made masterpieces. This is also another big motivation for me to work harder to visit anywhere I like.
2019 is the next proud and most influential milestone for me, when I went to Tibet and saw Mount Everest and the Himalayas. Standing in front of the majestic beauty of nature, I felt so tiny, but also very happy and lucky to go to beautiful lands like this. I’m crazy in love with Everest and the Himalayas. I will certainly never climb to the top of the mountain, but just looking at it satisfies me. Those who prefer leisure travel and stay in luxurious places like the US or Europe should try to visit the Himalayas once, as it is well worth your time and effort.
During my trips to the Himalayas, I often bring warm clothes and many other things for people living here, in extremely harsh and deprived conditions.
Opening a company is not a milestone, but a mission for me. I try to organize many unique and new tours for customers, including a helicopter tour to Everest’s base camp at an altitude of 5,545 meters, bringing my dream to those with enough luck and health to be there. I open just 2 tours each year, one in the spring and one in the autumn when the weather is most favorable and visitors can see the top of the mountain with their naked eyes. Besides, I also have to discuss a lot with the pilots of these flights to arrange the appropriate trips.
In the coming time, on October 8, I will organize a very special tour for Vietnamese travelers. They will be led by legend Kami Rita Sherpa, who holds the record for most ascents to the summit of Mount Everest in the world (26 times). After a long time of negotiation, and understanding my enthusiasm, Kami Rita finally accepted to officially partner with our company. I want to create my own mark for tourism products, not put money as the top priority. Just meeting and listening to Kami Rita’s own stories is a very worthwhile experience itself, but now you can even accompany him to conquer the world’s highest mountain.
I once wanted to give up the tour business because of visa issues and many other problems, especially around 2013-2014 when I was a newbie. There were days when everything failed and I didn’t know what to do. At such times, family is the support and motivation for me to keep going ahead. At the end of 2017, after many years of not celebrating Tet with my family, I decided to take a 3-week break at home. Sometimes the best action is no action. Thanks to the warmness with my loved ones, I calmed down, thought more clearly, recovered and came back to work.
Maybe you don’t believe it, but the time when I was full of faith was the epidemic time in 2020. Because I think there is always a chance in risk. I took the time to prepare and plan as well as make the website better, and boost SEO,… After the pandemic, I found that our products mostly hit the right taste in the Vietnamese tourism market. Even during the Covid-19 epidemic, I still had domestic tours with limited people (6-8 people) regularly, aimed at those who can afford to travel, but require safety. Our tours focus on uniqueness and experiences, with many cultural and historical elements.
I always believe that everything will be ok, like the saying in a part of the “3 Idiots” movie. This year, I was more or less successful since the customers returned, with the tour occupancy rate reaching 90-100%. Although there are still some difficulties and limitations due to the pandemic, just try our best and everything will be alright sooner or later!
I think no matter what job we do, we also need to make trade-offs, and invest in health, time and youth. What we get are personal income, economy, opportunity,… As for the travel industry, time for family is what we have to exchange the most. Holidays are our busy days. What matters is whether we accept it or not.
Initially, I was quite self-deprecating and felt that I did not have any special qualities for tour operation. I also did not receive any guidance or advice, just what must be, must be. However, when I worked at the first company, I saw opportunities and was trusted by the manager. At that time, I wasn’t very excellent and also had many problems. Looking back, I have to be thankful for that time. I made mistakes, I failed, but still had teammates by my side.
I have determined my goal and mission is to bring the dream of discovering the world to Vietnamese people. I not only take them to check in big and famous cities but give them unique experiences as well. As long as the customer wants and I can afford it, I will do it.
I want to aim for the image of an artisan. They have works/products with their unique and distinctive personality. I also hope to create many specific and valuable tourism products for my customers.
Think differently, do differently. For students and young people, just try to think differently, and do something new and a little great. Consumers’ behavior, thinking, and travel habits are changing, and when society changes, we have to change too. We should not think we are the best, but try to be better day by day.