wins inaugural World Tourism Forum Innovation Award wins inaugural World Tourism Forum Innovation Award

Start-up sharing site, based in Vietnam, won the first World Tourism Forum Innovation Award. offers local tours and experiences in destinations in southeast Asia, bringing the Airbnb idea to tours and tour guides. It aims to expand globally.

Founder Hai Ho said: “There is no standard database for tours, no standard system and no easy way to book a local experience. We help travellers book local experiences easily and allow locals to share and preserve their culture. We have about 6,600 local experiences and about 6,000 users [to date].”

The site is based in Ho Chi Minh City. It takes 10% commission on each transaction and has a staff of six.

Hai Ho collected the $10,000 first prize at the forum on what was his first trip to Europe. Fellow finalists Kelly Garofalo, co-founder of US-based World Connect, and Annie Beaulieu, founder of Canadian-based Freedom, each won $5,000.

The award was judged by a panel including British Hospitality Association chief executive Ufi Ibrahim and Pacific Asia Travel Association chief executive Mario Hardy.

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