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THE CON TRĂ‚U TIMES Issue 3 - Mar - 2012

Inspirational Travel 1


Credits Publisher Hr Department Designer Bui Minh Tan Staff Writers Kenneth Mechele whealey Thuy pham Hayo Trung Tran Ho Thuy FO Team Vic Chau Doc Editor Bev Taylor Ray Petts Photography Trung Tran Customers’s contribution Jeremy Kay

Table of Contents Joining and leaving 1. Joining

2. Leaving

Ms. Rubby Alvarez – International Business Development Executive (Tiger team) – Marketing Department

Mr. Nguyen Van Hung – M& E Technician- Thien Minh Group

Ms. Trieu Thi Nga – VET Executive – Group Reservation Team – BT Vietnam

Staff of the month Travel events 3. ITB Berlin 2012 4. “Run” to the peak of Indochina Roof 5. What you don’t know about Buffalo Tours Thailand 6. A Visit to Banteay Chhmar temples 7. A Trip to Victoria Chau Doc 8. Marketing Course Guest feedback Vacancies in ha noi Tips 9. Get Your Colleague’s Attention Birthday and anniversaries 10. List of Apr- Member Birth day

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Staff of the month Ms. CAO MINH NGOC – FC TEAM LEADER GROUP RESERVATION – BT Vietnam Ngoc and her FIT team exceeded January new sales target by 18% with actual $294K and achieved 111% travel date target with actual $456K Ngoc is always willing to learn and grow. Even though public speaking is not her cup of tea, she rose up to the challenge and presented the Inbound Sales team effectively and confidently at the AGM. She also took the initiative and negotiated with the preferred hotels for attractive summer discounts to push up Flight Centre sales. Ngoc is a great team player and she recently fulfilled her dream to conquer Mt. Fanxipan together with Buffalo Tour team.

Ms. TRAN BICH THUY – VET TEAM LEADER Group Reservation Team – BT Vietnam Thuy and her VET team exceeded first quarter realized sales budget by 25% (actual $244K) and new sales budget by 10% (actual $206K) Thuy implemented initiative to recruit and train more VET facilitators in May which allows VET team to approach new school groups and develop sales

Ms. NGUYEN LE HANG – TEAM LEADER GROUP RESERVATION – BT Vietnam Travelsphere and FOX are very happy with Hang’s professionalism, turnaround time and quality of work. Hang works closely with BT regional offices and Operation team as well as fine tunes product offering to improve trip operation and passenger satisfaction

People are our most valuable resource! Nominate someone you think deserves recognition – someone who truly shines!

Inspirational Travel 3


ITB Berlin 2012 F rom 07 – 12 March, several Buffalo Tours / Thien Minh managers and team leaders from Buffalo Tours attended the annual ITB in Berlin; the world’s leading Travel trade show. This year Buffalo Tours was represented by Kenneth (GM BT Thailand), Trung (German sales team leader), Ha Cung (Sales Manager-Thien Minh Hoa Binh Company) and Hayo (Account Manager Thailand). ITB Berlin is the B2B-platform for trade visitors – an excellent opportunity to meet business partners and to discuss potential (new) business. The whole variety of travelling is present at ITB Berlin: destinations, tour operators, booking systems, carriers, hotels and all other suppliers who want to give customers an unforgettable holiday. The “Messe” in Berlin is one of the largest exhibition venues in the world and consists of more then 26 halls! The total number of exhibitors were 10.644

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persons and the total number of trade visitors were 172. 132 persons this year! The Buffalo Tours booth is located in the Vietnam corner of the “ASIA” hall and was very visible because it had 2 open sides. We finalised setting up the booth 2 hours before opening time on the first day and it looked good. The first 3 days are the most important trade show days. This is the time to meet the important Buffalo Tours partners and potential new tour operators and agencies. During this exhibition it shows that Vietnam is still a HOT destination on the German market and there was also some interest in Laos and Cambodia as combined destination. Most of the pre-arrangement appointments were with German partners and leads but we also spoke with several smaller Dutch tour agencies and other suppliers like guide book representatives, marketing


consultants, hoteliers etc. One of the most discussed topics at the ITB was the Economic crisis in Europe and how this negatively affects the business from Europe to Asia destinations in general. The last 2 days are traditionally open for the normal public as well and during these consumer days we can all practice our German language again! Many Germans come to the booth and hunt for souvenirs like our popular BT buffalo’s, postcards etc. They would even take our own pens if we would be careful haha. Trung has proven to be a very enthusiastic German speaking member of the team and it seems that he knows any Vietnamese person living in Berlin! Many of the potential (direct) customers we spoke with really preferred to speak German, so Trung was a very valuable asset at the booth all 5 days. Besides serious business, we also had a great time in Berlin with the whole team: we shared frustration and laughs about the location of the hotel chosen by Trung (behind the airport and a 20 Euro taxi ride away from the trade show and the town.) We walked 30 minutes

in freezing cold weather looking for a restaurant and finally ended up eating “German schnitzel” in an “Italian restaurant” (good food by the way) and moody waiters finally who laughed with us about Trung making a picture of everything on the table. The annual dinner with World insight, one of our larger German partners, in a packed local restaurant (that we could not find at all, so we ended up in a taxi with GPS) was also an interesting experience. We would like to end this story with a quote: “Sarah crying in the U-Bahn”. When you curious what this means please ask Trung, but this became our running joke the rest of the ITB. Let’s hope that the ITB 2012 would bring Buffalo Tours many new business opportunities for the coming years………….. By Hayo, Kenneth & Trung

Inspirational Travel 5


“Run to the peak

of Indochina Roof


anxipang trekking 2012 is the most wonderful trip in my life I have had.

Last Friday night we met together at 21:15 at Hanoi train station and got on SP3 train to Laocai. After checking the train, we played card. The loser had to take off one thing on his or her body. After 30 minutes only, I, Ms Ly and Mr Hai wear monokini and had to cover the body with blankets. Next day we arrived later than estimate time. The first day we went walk continuously nearly 12hours from10am until 9:30pm. It’s so lucky for us because the weather was sunny and convenience for trekking. During one beginning and lastest hour to go on the top of Fanxipan mountain is too hard for us. We went in

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pair to support each other better. Sometimes we had to motivate each other and tried to go as fast as we can. Using so flexible (short or long depends on your need), rigid and unique of Mr Kien’s stick helped me “go on the top” of this huge mountain easily even this is my first time in my life I tried. In the afternoon the temperature there went down below 10 degree celsius, so we sat near together to keep warm and wait for others. At 6pm all the members in our group stayed on the top of Fansipan - the highest peak of Indochina mountains. From here we had a rarely chance to enjoy spectacular sigh-seeing and seemed that we could hold whole the world in our hands.

THE CON TRÂU TIMES Although some members got sick, the weather was quite hot in day and so cold at night but we have passed over ourselves. Mr Trung said that: “This is the loveliest trip he has had”. Thanks so much for CEO – Mr Kien, tour leader – Mr Trung Tran, Doctor Tuan, supporter – Mr Hai and all

other members from Bu-to family for co-operation to make our trip complete perfectly. Coming back to work but we still remember about the happy time together and look forward for next trip. By Thuy Pham – Group Reservation Executive

Inspirational Travel 7


What you don’t know about

Buffalo Tours Thailand


uffalo Tours (Thailand) Ltd. Chiang Mai Branch is situated in the center of Chiang Mai town (heart of Chiang Mai). Address ; 145/1 Rachadamnoen road, Phrasingha sub-district, Muang district, Chiang Mai 50200,THAILAND. The area where our office located, we called “OLD CITY”, the historical quarter that was once a walled square surrounded by moats. In the past, the Chiang Mai Royal Family’s Palace had been settled here and we can currently see the Palaces modified to be such as school, temple, etc. The important temples built by Lanna Kingdom’s Kings are also in old city. Besides of these, you can see history, culture, most attractive places mixed between old & modern. Traveling in Chiang Mai (The Rose of North) and another provinces nearby are recommended while you visit Thailand. The history & culture of Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai had been capital of this Kingdom. You can explore attrac-

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tive places and local people. Come to visit us to make your trip interesting and valuable by TAILOR-MADE your program with us. In Chiang Mai, we started operation and sales (B2B) since 01st July 2011 with 1 staff and now we have 3 staff on board. Early 2012, fully Sales by both B2B and B2C are successful. Ms.Porjai Chaiwongyart or nickname “NUK” is the Branch Manager of Chiang Mai office. She is originated in Chiang Mai, born, studied and work. Her first name in Thai means “SATISFACTION” which in fact her parents are proud to give birth of her. So that’s why she is always satisfied of her life, study and work. Traveling is her favorite hobby and her motto is traveling makes us rich, not money but rich of knowledge. She started working with tour company since 1998 and still ap-


preciate to continue working in this field. The reason to work in tourism is to share her hometown’s history, culture, experiences to the others. She prefers to be in Chiang Mai, her hometown because the weather makes her fresh and healthy, the food which is very delicious and tasty, the culture which is reachable and attractive. It’s the good points why you shouldn’t miss to visit Chiang Mai while traveling to Thailand though. Ms.Suphanee Suriya or you can call her “NING” has been working with us since 05th August 2011. She works in Operation & Administration in Chiang Mai Branch. This is a good opportunity for her to be a part of Buffalo Tours and she believes that with her experiences she can develop herself to a skill of Operation & Administration under motto : be energetic, responsible and honest. Her smile makes us happy. She is very friendly and helpful. Join her anytime in Operation information and correspondence at ning@buffalotours. com.

Ms.Parinrada Pakda or EVE is our Our well-know Sales Executive. Shestarted working with Buffalo Tours (Thailand) in head office, Bangkok since 01st June 2011 and moved to Chiang Mai on 03rd Jan’12 to fulfill our Sales in north. She is originated from Chiang Rai and this is also one of her reason to move to Chiang Mai branch and works close to her hometown. She is our good Sales Executive and always works hard in her jobs. She is very nice, friendly and helpful. Feel free to join her anytime in Sales at Our teams : TOUR GUIDES Buffalo Tours Chiang Mai guides are almost originated from northern part of Thailand. Some are from Northeastern (Isan) & Bangkok. All of them are very friendly, cheerful, helpful, active and absolutely knowledgeable in northern area and all around. We have on board 7 English speaking guides, 2 French speaking guides & 2 German speaking guides. They are all ready to serve to Buffalo Tours guests. Try your trip to northern part of Thailand. You will say “DO NOT MISS TO VISIT ROSE OF THE NORTH”. by Kenneth Jorgensen – Thailand General Manager

Inspirational Travel 9


A Visit to

Banteay Chhmar temples


ne Sunday in February the BT Cambodian girls (Michele, Sina and Pheany) left Siem Reap early for the remote Banteay Chhmar temples in the north west near the Thai border. These temples had just been described in one overseas travel article as “Cambodia’s Second Angkor”, so off we set not knowing what to expect. After a 3 hour drive, half of it on a dirt road we arrived at the town of Banteay Chhmar. It is small and the only things in the town are the temples, 6 homestays and 2 French NGOs one of which is reviving the art of making Khmer scarves. The temple was built in the late 12th century and has been looted over the years, however while the temple is not a complete structure, the Global Heritage Fund is working on restoring the temple. It is said that on average 2 tourists visit this temple a day. What a way to see such an amazing piece of history and we could not believe that we had the temples to ourselves to wander around looking at the amazing bas reliefs and roots growing over the pieces of stone. It is a real jungle temple and we felt like we were Angelina Jolie tomb raiding. In the dry season it is very hot and in the rainy season the condition of the roads would make it difficult to travel there, but it was worth the time to travel to this remote temple and we could imagine what the Angkor area would have been like many years ago. by Michele Whealy- BT Cambodia’s Country Manager

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A Trip to

Victoria Chau Doc

Victoria Chau Doc team was pleased to receive our dear colleague, Mister Trang Kim Tuong, Branch Manager of Buffalo Tours visiting and working at Chau Doc Border Town on March 15th, 2012. Although he remained at a moment of tiredness after 6–hour driving, passing 300 km of long road from HCM City, this was rapidly dispelled by the warm welcome, hospitality and heartiness of Victoria Chau Doc team. In spite of 3-hour training session on March 16th, 2012, Mister Tuong has exchanged and communicated us the valuable experiences which

he has been facing with all goodwill and good heart of Tourism mover and shaker. He has assisted colleagues of VCD and Sister Hotel, VCT in conceiving the fortes and foibles of tours operation and tour guides skills. These will result in the effective measures to improve and commit the sustainable Victoria Customers Service Culture. The good-bye saying moment in the late afternoon, take him back home, HCM City. However, what he, Buffalo Tours and Victoria Head Office favoring VCD is highly appreciated” – Written by FO team of Victoria Chau Doc

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Attending Marketing course in Mini MBA program was my pleasure. Not only I can learn and build up Marketing experience, but also a chance for me to meet all colleagues in Buffalo Tours and Thien Minh as well. In the beginning, It’s seem very long day to cover all theory, but by going into specific case studies, the course was more attractive and time goes by really fast.

Through 2 days classes, what I have learnt has certain impact on my perspective about marketing.This course pointed out that Customer Relationship Management play main role in marketing strategy. By focus on service quality, understanding client and then customize products for each client group, the relationship between company and client will be stronger. As BTA has advantage in CRM because our main market is in Vietnam, I realize that beside advertising or promotions, building programs focusing

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on managing customer that retain relationship in longer term will add more benefits and also saving cost. Moreover, Thien Minh now start to using CRM tool to manage database, by learning and understanding deeper about CRM, It will provide broader view for CRM strategy in future. Overall, I really think this course contributes and inspire so much not only me but also all Marketers of Thien Minh Group. Return to Saigon after 3 short days in Ha Noi, I’m happy with things I have been through. Gaining knowledge, discussing with colleagues and seeing working environment in Buffalo Tours are inspiring me for what I’m doing at BTA. Thanks all for this chance and kindness of people in Ha Noi. “By Thuy Ho - PR and Marketing Executive – BTA”


Feedback on what our staff members have been doing Dear Buffalo Tours, Jeremy Kay and myself traveled through Vietnam with your company from Jan. 26 to Feb. 18. Trinh Minh Hao was a our trip coordinator. She was FANTASTIC. I cannot say enough about her. She was perfect as far as planning our trip. She would respond always within 24 hours and she gave us great advice for what we were looking for. Once we were on the trip, we realized what incredible accomodations Hao had booked for us. Everything surpassed our expectations. And even when we needed to change a flight, Hao was responsive at last minute notice. We were very pleased with our trip and we cannot thank Hao and Buffalo Tours enough for giving us this incredible experience. HAO IS AMAZING! THANK YOU! Sincerely, Jeremy Kay and Justin Hanlon

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Vacancies in BT Vietnam 1. Sale Manager – BTA Hanoi (Hanoi based): 3. Tour guide full time and part time: 4. Product Manager (Hanoi based): 5. Product Executive (Hanoi based) 6. International Business Development Executive (Hanoi based)

01 40 01 01 01

For more information please visit our link: Please send us email to: if you would like to apply or if you know any qualified candidates. Thank you.

Get Your Colleagues’ Attention To capture any audience’s attention, you must frame your message properly. Whether you’re making a presentation, composing an email, or talking with your boss, here’s how to convey your idea: •Start with what you want. Busy colleagues don’t want to wait for the punch line. Provide the most important information up front. •Explain the complication. Give the specific reason for your message. What prompted you to deliver it? •Connect to the big picture. Explain why your audience should care. Point out what is relevant to them and how it links to their goals •End with a call to action. Once you’ve set the context, reiterate what you need. Harvard Business Review “From Harvard Business Review”

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& Anniversaries



Birthdays: Panya Thin Som Sokcheat Tania Koesten Pham Khanh Ly Dang Cam Chieu Nguyen Thi My Le Nguyen Thi Le Hang Vu Hoang Son Pascale Simonot Henrry Nghiem Thi Dung Pham Van Trang Tran Thu Thuy Nguyen Thi Xoan Michele Whealy Suphanee Suriya Ittipol Puttasiri Le Thi Thuy

Apr 2nd Apr 3rd Apr 3rd Apr 5th Apr 8th Apr 10th Apr 12nd Apr 13rd Apr 13rd Apr 15th Apr 18th Apr 20th Apr 21th Apr 21th Apr 21th Apr 27th Apr 29th

Country Manager Driver Manager Online Sales Guide – Cho Lon Travel Consultant GR executive - Teamleader CEO Assistant BTA General Manager Spanish Agent sale executive Finance officer Operation Country Manager Operation / Administration Sales Consultant GR executive

Anniversaries: Doan Thu Hien Le Thi Thuy Ha Thi Thao Nguyen Thu Huong Phung Thu Huong Nghiem Thi Dung Lo Thi Viet Ha Nguyen Tuan Dat Nguyen Son Hai Son To Laki Nguyen Do Huyen Trang Hayo Massop Mattie Scholts Kritmanee Ratanaphaisal Rosalie Berghuis Porjai Chaiwongyart Phatchadaphon Netibud

Accountant GR executive GR executive Agent Sales executive Online sales Teamleader Spanish Travel Consultant Teamleader IT Supporter Tourguide Tourguide Travel Consultant FOX Area Manager Asst. Operations Manager Sales Team Leader Pattya Branch Manager Branch Manager Chiang Mai Accountant

04 years in service 08 years in service 05 years in service 05 years in service 08 years in service 01 years in service 05 years in service 04 years in service 08 years in service 05 years in service 01 years in service 02 years in service 02 years in service 02 years in service 02 years in service 01 years in service 01 years in service

Inspirational Travel 15

The con trau times.march-2012  

The con trau times.march-2012

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