Having worked in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years, and commited to Paradise Vietnam since 2014, Wanderlust Tips asked Vice Presedent Nguyen Hong Nhat, to share his interesting experiences with Paradise Vietnam in particular and the accommodation an the cuisine industry in general.
Paradise Vietnam Group has quite a number of luxury cruises operating in Ha Long Bay along with a range of high class hotels and restaurants already, why did your group decide to launch two new Paradise Elegance Cruises in 2017?
As you know in regards to the two Elegance Cruises, one was launched in February and one will be launched this July so we will have a total of 11 cruises on Ha Long Bay. For our business, we are always aiming for higher standards in our services. And we built Paradise Elegance as a yacht service to meet the rigorous international standards from scale, design, furniture and cuisine to perfect services. As a pioneer in accommodation services in Ha Long Bay, we create market-leading products.
Despite being the largest cruise on Ha Long Bay, Paradise Elegance has only 31 spacious cabins, unlike other cruises of the same size that have 40 or more cabins to accommodate more guests. We hope that after an exhausting long-haul flight, Elegance provides a comfortable fully-equipped “home” for visitors to take a rest and relax.
However, I think nothing is more convincing than a real experience on our cruise. We believe in objective evaluation of visitors. Many customers have shared their wonderful experiences on reputable websites like TripAdvisor. This reliable travel community frequently ranks Paradise Cruises in the top 10 best cruises in Ha Long Bay.
Why did you decide to move from a luxury hotel group where you had worked for 10 years to a Vietnamese group?
Every business organisation has its own strength and aspects needing to be renewed, whether it is old or new, whether it is an international or Vietnamese corporation. And the two brands I m committed to are no exception, one is Accor – a multinational hotel group, and one is Paradise Group – a domestic group which has recently appeared but has seen incredible development. With its current speed of development, Paradise will soon catch up with other international groups. In fact, we have many branches in a lot of countries around the world (Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Northern Europe, Australia, New Zealand) along with specific plans for business development, including launching our restaurants on the international market, first of which is the Asian market. My experiences at Accor are extremely helpful for me in the process of working for Paradise and making this Vietnamese group become well known internationally.
One thing I enjoy here is the flexibility in decision-making. In a multinational group, it would be much more complicated because as there are many different management levels. However, when working for a domestic group, an ideal will be quickly implemented, meaning that you can immediately verify the superiority of the initiative. There are a lot of things that I have to build from scratch, so I know there are challenges but it is also time for me to indulge in see plans turn from paper to actual training system – parts of a business which are usually already built in international groups.
In pursuing international service standards, has Paradise developed any Vietnamese characteristic in its service system?
As you know, there are only some foreign staff members in our group. Having local staff makes for a Vietnamese identity, which we would like our customers to experience.
In addition, on the cruise, some items like the wooden furniture are Vietnamese products so the visitors can learn about local products of extremely good quality that are sophisticated and luxurious. This helps Vietnamese tourists feel at home, while foreign visitors experience a beautiful and luxurious Vietnam.
One thing everyone realises is that we are very fond of and prioritise Vietnamese cuisine. I have the opportunity to go to many countries and many continents, which makes me realise that Vietnamese cuisine is really delicate and loved by many foreign people and I have found Vietnamese restaurants in every countries I have visited. That’s why we developed a restaurant system serving Vietnamese cuisine like Ngon Villa, Home Hanoi, Home Hoi An, and in August we will open Home Saigon. The food served on board offers pure Vietnamese taste. It is a unique, unmistakable flavour that we would like Paradise’s customers to experience.
Although targeting affluent customers, Paradise Group has a relatively young staff. How does this relate to the company’s personnel orientation? Does young personnel cause any difficulties in trading high-class products or services?
Although Paradise has quite a lot of business lines of large scale and we target affluent customers who are considered the most demanding, we still believe in recruiting young people. Paradise always aims to train people properly and we believe that young Vietnamese are very talented. They are willing to listen and learn so they integrate well and make progress very quickly. That is why every year we have programs to find and train talent straight out of universities.
We even recruited students just graduating from high school; our only requirement is their enthusiasm and talent. And it is important that young people have are creativity and show bold initiative. We set aside a considerable budget on recruiting and training. But we find that this is well spent because people are the core value of an organisation. Of course, important positions are always filled with experienced people who impart experience and inspiration to the next generation.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview with Wanderlust Tips, we wish you and Paradise Group success for the coming projects!
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