20 candles and as many stories to share with you

In 2019, Phoenix Voyages celebrates its 20th year anniversary, an opportunity for Edouard George, its founder, to look back at some of his best memories and share a few unpublished anecdotes. Discover below, the anecdote of the month: The origins of Phoenix Voyages.

How did Phoenix Voyages adventure begin? What were its first steps?

At the time, Le Tuan Linh (Co-Founder) and I were leaving the Accor Hotels, we didn't have much except an address book and knowledge of the business.So we started small, we applied for a license and moved into my kitchen in Saigon, which was our first office. We worked 18 hours a day, alternating between production, customer research, contracting and public relations, to get people to talk about us.  At that time in Vietnam, there was still very little technology in the offices, our daily lives revolved around pencils and notebooks to scribble the production and hand-made brochures to present our trips. It is in this universe that we began to imagine the shapes of Phoenix Voyages as we know today.

Why did you decide to set up a travel agency and what was your initial idea?

Tourism was then barely existing in Vietnam but promising a bright future. However, there were still some major gaps in the map of tourism offers: there was no interest in a "European vision" and targeting a European clientele, and there was no option similar to luxury. With my experience with Accor, I was captivated in this sector and sensed that there was something to create in Vietnam. It was, therefore, necessary to train and adapt the local structures to the standards of European customers. We were in a way pioneers in the sector, with only few competitors.

Read last month's article on why Phoenix Voyages is called Phoenix Voyages