Events Travel Asia expands into VietnamBy Megan Gell
07 Jul 2017
Events Travel Asia (ETA) has expanded into Vietnam with a new regional office, signing a cooperation agreement with Phu Bao Destinations & Events. ETA will take over management and operations of Phu Bao effective immediately, transitioning the operator to international standards.
ETA managing director, Max Jantasuwan, told CEI Asia: “The expansion provides ETA clients another destination to hold their events after Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Now ETA clients can enjoy the same quality destination management services in Vietnam as well.
“ETA will provide management to Phu Bao for DMC services including training, improving systems and service delivery, sales and marketing, and strategy. There will be a huge opportunity for Phu Bao because they can now access ETA’s standard operating procedures, systems and clientele. ETA will also provide all the training and management of day-to-day operations.”
ETA has relocated senior team member, Lawan Malapet, to Ho Chi Minh City to oversee operations and ensure compliance with the new standards. Malapet has a strong background in hotels with senior event management positions at The Berkeley Hotel Pratunam, Shangri-La and Le Méridien in Bangkok and Phuket. She also has significant experience running event companies, serving as director of Oriental Events and managing director at The Audience Motivation Company (AMC) Asia among others.
“Lawan has joined us with a strong passion for DMC services and also for Vietnam as a destination,” says Jantasuwan. “Lawan will be working with myself on strategy and direction, and managing the team on standards, training and all aspects of the transition from local agency to an international-level provider. ETA regional director Jeff Fongmool will focus on training and operations, responsible for enhancing the standards of operation and service delivery.”
As a full-service DMC, Phu Bao will provide services across Vietnam in destinations including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc and more. The new office will also strengthen ETA’s ability to provide services in neighbouring Laos and Cambodia.
The two operators began working together in 2014 when ETA became a supplier for its Thailand events. The first event under the new arrangement was a corporate incentive event in Phu Quoc for 300 guests. Next year the office will handle a 3,500-person incentive event from the U.S. incorporating Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City.
Events Travel Asia was founded in Bangkok in 2013 and opened offices in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2014. Jantasuwan has been in the events industry for 17 years, based primarily in Thailand where he has worked for The Mint Organization, Diethelm Travel Group and Asia World Enterprise.