Welcome to our new member – Scivi Travel
Interview with Cuong Nguyen, General Manager
Tell us your story. How did Scivi Travel get started?
Scivi Travel was founded by two friends who met at university in Vietnam, and who were following very different career paths. After graduating, Ha started a travel business with the intention of showing travellers a different view of Vietnam. I, on the other hand, entered a large corporation as a finance professional. We kept in frequent contact throughout the first ten years of our professional careers, before deciding to come together and create something that we were both passionate about: meaningful educational experiences for students and young travellers through excursions. And that’s when Scivi Travel was born.
The name Scivi derived from a similar Latin phrase meaning “I know”. The “I” represents self-realisation, as we believe that people learn best through their own experiences, and that everyone has the ability to learn given the right environment.
What makes Scivi Travel different from your competitors?
Half of our team does not have any background in tourism or educational. On the one hand, we have to learn a lot to catch up with our peers, but on the other hand it enables us to think outside the box and see the bigger picture when it comes to the learning objectives for all our trips, due to our diverse experience.
For every programme we organise, balance is the top priority. Balance between studying and exploring a new destination, between the learning objectives, student safety and experience and how the local community and host organisation benefits. We put ourselves in the shoes of our beneficiaries as we believe that volunteering is an important part of growth and development.
What is your favourite success story?
We have touching story for each project we are working with, but the one that stands out the most would be the house building project in Mekong Delta, which we carry out with our longest-standing partner school partner in Australia. Eight families have been given a new life over the last seven years. Hundreds of students came to Mekong Delta for a life-changing experience – in fact, one student has returned for six years on the trot!
What can we expect to see from Scivi Travel in the future?
We have worked with a lot of schools sending students to Vietnam for service learning projects, but we have not yet worked with many Vietnamese schools – mainly due to cost constraints. We hope to design proper programs for Vietnamese students in the near future.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
We believe that the world is changing fast. Education is becoming more personalised, climate change is and will be the most important issue for humankind in the years to come and the traditional classroom learning model is fading out. In the future, travel will be one of the main ways of educating young people.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Scivi Travel?
We learn through doing, and use best practice, such as SYTA’s Safety Resources Guide as a benchmark for implementing our programs. We also conduct continuous training, both internally and externally, such as EPR first aid training from a PADI-certified training organisation.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
As mentioned previously, we would like to learn from the best in the market. We believe that our key success factor is our people and our knowledge, and it is important to be continuously learning. We also would like to expand our network as we count ourselves as experts in leading educational trips to Vietnam, and can cooperate with other WYSE members.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
The most challenging one is probably content building, i.e. trending educational excursions in the world. We do our own research mostly, but we also gain great insight from learning from peer colleagues around the world.
Another challenge for us is promoting Vietnam as a good educational travel destination. Vietnam tourism is booming generally, but still there are not many schools that consider Vietnam as a good choice for educational travel.
Scivi Travel is an inbound educational tour operator in Vietnam, with a dedicated team of travel professionals and educators and a wide network of local experts. Scivi positions itself as a connecting point between educators/schools and youth organisations around the world and Vietnam.
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Associate Member
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