In today’s podcast, we have arranged an interview with Daniel Diosi, owner of one the fastest growing hotel consulting company, dCommerce. Daniel spent the past years in developing countries and emerging economies where unsustainable tourism management is an issue.
Thank you, Daniel, for being available, let’s start:
For how long have you been in Vietnam and what have you been doing there?
I spent several months in Vietnam in the past three years, mostly visiting local clients and also to develop my business in that country. Without knowing exactly, I would say 9-12 months since 2015. Tourism is booming there and it hotel e-commerce is still very underdeveloped, so my company can support a large number of hotels and resorts.
Do you see the growing tourism to become a problem?
It is a complicated question. Before the tourism boom, the economy of Vietnam was quite rough. Tourism contributes a lot to the economic development of the country but it also has it’s drawbacks. The lack of environmental and social responsibility is outrageous. Beautiful cities such as Nha Trang are now turned into dirty tourist hubs with all the problems you can imagine. Drugs, prostitution, crime, garbage everywhere. I can’t even go to swim in the sea any more because of the extreme amount of garbage floating and being washed up on the beaches.
This sounds bad. Are social issues equally worrying?
During my time there I did not get too deep into the society, but I see some obvious issues, like prostitution, growing gap between poor and rich, horrible work environments most importantly growing stress. There are way too many people, lots of construction sites, dirt, pollution so you can understand why people are on a short fuse.
What I am really sad about is seeing previously traditional villages like Hoi An turning into backpacking hubs. Vendors just trying to get as much money as possible, selling cheap crap souvenirs, horrible food and alcohol. Prostitution is also growing, girls are attracting men on dating sites to their “massage” parlours.
I am in general very sad to see greed being the major driving force.
In your opinion, what can be done to stop these negative trends? Did you do anything personally to help the situation?
The problem is clear. Greed, lack of education, no social and environmental responsibility. I sincerely hope that the next generation of hoteliers and tourism leaders will act because the current big shots clearly don’t care about anything else but money.
Education would be key, as well us communicating that the current tourism growth will not be there all the time. Vietnam was initially attractive because if it’s rich culture, but today, because of it’s greed driven people it became just as average as Thailand, without the beaches.
My company is about hotel e-commerce consulting, unfortunately it cannot help in any ways to promote sustainable tourism. I am the member of TAB, Tourism Advisory Board of Vietnam – and I joined with the sole purpose to help attracting better tourists who are more socially responsible, pay more so the country might have a lower environmental damage / revenue ratio.
Is this why your company dCommerce only work with 5-star hotels?
Partially yes. There are two reasons for it. First of all I want to contribute to the growth of quality tourism that offers memorable experiences for travelers, generate high revenue for hotels and supports the economy of the destination. Cheap shit tourism is not supporting the economy in any way, it just generates trouble and damage – see Vietnam as a perfect example.
The other reason I work with high-end and luxury hotels because those are the ones who can effortlessly pay our consulting fees. As ADR (average daily rate) is relatively high in these hotels, they can achieve high transactions values online which makes a great return on investment on our e-commerce consulting service.
In general, only 2 additional bookings are enough to cover our fee, so most hotels have no issues in investing into our online marketing consultation.
At the same time, hotels with low rates will have lower return and higher risk.
Dear Daniel, thank you very much for being here with us today.
Thank you, it was a pleasure. Bye