Irish hotel bookings company, AccuBook, say that almost 10% of their export sales now come from the Vietnam market and they aim to grow this to 16% by the end of 2024.

The company launched their ‘GuestDiary’ system there over four years ago and have now logged almost 100,000 reservations in Vietnam.

A country of 100 million, Vietnam has a booming hospitality industry that has experienced huge growth in recent years. Attracting visitors from within Asia, around the world, and domestically, the hospitality market is expected to grow a further 7% by 2027.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) say AccuBook is a great example of a company that is taking advantage of the ‘significant opportunities in this key growth market’. Kevin Ryan, Director for the Association of South East Asian Markets at EI, says Vietnam is the rising star of the region. The country has “transformed itself into one of the most dynamic emerging economies in Southeast Asia over the past number of years”, he says.

 According to Ryan, Vietnam’s fast growing, well-educated and middle-income generation is supported by strong domestic demand and an export-oriented manufacturing sector. “It now has the highest GDP growth rate of 6.9% in SE Asia, attracting strong international investment and strengthening its attractiveness as a country to do business in.”

 Enterprise Ireland say they look forward to continuing to support Accubook’s significant growth plans and global ambition in SE Asia.  But AccuBook’s experience in this dynamic market has not been without challenges, says General Manager, Gerry Haughey.

The company first approached the Asian Market in 2019 starting with Vietnam.  Initial sales were very promising, but the pandemic quickly took its toll with Western visitors cancelling trips to Asia from early 2020.

“Even with this downturn, we decided to stick it out,” says Gerry Haughey. “The domestic and wider Asian markets saw recovery first. It’s taken until now to fully see global hospitality back to pre-pandemic levels. It was a long game, but it has paid off. We are now experiencing rapid growth in Vietnam.”

They started operations with one Vietnam based agent, and appointed a second local specialist in 2023 to meet growth demand. AccuBook works primarily with independent hotels and guesthouses, serving over 60 large properties in the region.

The AccuBook ‘GuestDiary’ system is popular because it enables hotel staff to manage bookings from multiple agents and platforms within a single piece of software. It communicates up-to-the-minute information about which rooms are available and unavailable to sites like Expedia, Booking.com, Airbnb and a host of others.

“GuestDiary allows us to manage our reservations from all the different booking sources such as Booking.com and Expedia in one location,” says Mr Cao Duy Ninh, the owner of Gallio Ha Noi Hotel. “Because it is automatic, it has taken away human error and simplified our day-to-day management. “For example, if a customer walks in off the street and checks in, GuestDiary automatically tells Expedia and Booking.com that the room is no longer available.”

Gerry Haughey says the hospitality sector in Vietnam is very different to what we know in the west.  “In Europe, clients often use tech to streamline business and reduce costs because labour is so expensive. Staffing is not as expensive in Asia, but the Vietnamese people are keen adopters of technology. They like the GuestDiary System for its efficiency and particularly our app.”

Sam Nguyen, Manager of Long & Sam, G9 Homestays Group in Ho Chi Minh City has used GuestDiary for over two years now and is particularly keen on the app.  “GuestDiary offers professional software with integrated automation, so it really simplifies our marketing and business operations. The website design service is exceptional, and there are no additional fees after use. The app means I know exactly how bookings stand, no matter where I am or what I am doing. It’s changed my life and our business entirely.”

AccuBook hope to use their presence in Vietnam to support further expansion in SE Asia, as part of overall plans for growth. They have extended across Irish and UK markets, and officially opened a company in France in 2022, where they have now acquired over 100 customers. The AccuBook team has more than doubled in the last four years to 16 staff today. They recently moved their Donegal Town head office to bigger premises to accommodate their expansion.

 

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