My Statement for Youth Economic Empowerment in Hue, Vietnam

The world was completely in shock from the tragic news of 39 people from North Central Vietnam trying to illegally immigrate into UK through a lorry truck.

Then to further find out, most of them are in their 20s and 30s. The youngest is 15 years of age who was looking to reunite with his parents who are also illegal immigrants of UK.

You might have these questions:

  • Why would someone pay for such expensive amount of money (some victims paid up to US$30,000 just to be transported in a container) in return for a life-threatening way to be smuggled in UK?
  • What is that in UK that attract not only Vietnamese but also many other nationality from South Asia and Central Asia?

As a Vietnamese at birth, I understand these young people’s struggles.

Vietnam is generally a happy country, however, in some poor villages where jobs are hard to find while it’s impossible to grow anything in their field, there are people that fight relentlessly to put bread on the table for their family.

With average income of US$200 per month, how could one support a family of 4 through their daily needs, not to mention school for kids, bills or other privileges similar to what people have in America?

That was the story of my mom and dad when they raised us 3 in the 90s from Hue, Vietnam. My dad worked for the government at the Farming Union. He taught and showed better ways for farmers to increase the productivity of live stock and crops.

My mother (in orange Ao Dai) is a huge inspiration for me on my entrepreneurship journey. Picture taken with my family during Tet Holiday 2017. 

My mother was an elementary teacher. She was so passionate of “planting the human seeds” to the point that she hosted free classes at our home for those who could not afford tuition fee.

She brought those kids who already dropped out by their parents’ back to school. She lent out clothes, books and even money for those whose parents were in struggling positions.

I am aware that I’m already more privileged than many others.

The fact that I can use my Vietnamese passport to travel for work, vacation or conference as opposed to so many others whose only way to enter their dream land is to make a fake passport and hide in a truck container is already evidence of such privilege.

The fact that now I can vent out my concern about this injustice in a language that can be decoded by most Westerners is another proof.

I was deeply saddened reading the news!

In fact, I was tossing and turning these past few days of how I can help to prevent these from happening to young people in my hometown of Hue? How can I show them brighter path to sustain themselves in a legal and respectful way through my work as entrepreneur?

I look back at my venture with Bee Bee Travel since 2015.

We DID show a bright path for young people in the travel business.

We give them chance to prove themselves worthy

I always believe in youth to make positive impact for their community. When I recruit employees for my business, I pay more attention to those who just graduates from college with serious mindset and learning ability.

I gave them chance to be shadowed by a senior tour guide for 2 months during their training to become a cultural ambassador for their country.

There have been 20 of them under my company’s guidance who make good living in Hue as freelance tour guides. They earn from US$800 – US$1200, which I proudly say, 4x to 6x higher than the average salary in Vietnam.

We pay them higher than the average company

People often hear that company tends to take advantage of fresh graduates by using them with low pay or not paying them at all.

We not only provide them training (at no cost) but also pay them a very competitive fee once they finish our challenge successfully.

While most of tour company in Vietnam pay their tour guides a fixed price regardless number of guests or length of tour, we add bonus for every extra guest that join the tour or extra hour/ attraction that they execute their tour.

We empower women to have sustainable income in tourism

Ms. Ngoc, my company’s tour guide is leading an experiential food tour for our guests in Hue, Vietnam.

I just realized recently that there are more women employees than men in my company. I am not a discriminator toward any sexes, however, I believe in the sincerity of female tour guides, their strong drive to succeed and their giving-back thought towards community.

They, like me, want to help others to succeed, too. What is a better environment to work at when being surrounded by passionate women who shares the same mission in life?

As a women in business, I know that I have a lot to learn to succeed in my role.


I believe “a thousand miles journey begins with a single step” – Lao Tzu

I have proven to my community that, you can have prosperity and happiness in your career while being close to your family by looking for opportunity near you and put yourself all in towards that.

I wish one day, the world won’t receive news of young Vietnamese leaving their home country for a pity death in an unknown land anymore…

If you can, join me on this journey of creating more job opportunity for Youth in my beloved hometown of Hue. 

You won’t regret your choice in touring with us!

Thu Ngo Vu

CEO Bee Bee Travel Vietnam

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