A group of youngsters have founded a voluntary organization which offers free guidance to foreign tourists who visit Hoi An Ancient Town in central Vietnam. Hoi An Free Tour, a 200-member organization mainly run by students who are currently enrolled in local universities, aims to create a playground for young participants to improve their English skills and tour guide experience.
Nguyen Huu Man, president of the group, said that it was set up in 2014 by four students who soon grasped the importance of English in modern society and the demand of youngsters who love the job of a tour guide. “Members of the group design a free tour for tourists who visit Hoi An in a non-profit spirit via an online forum,” Man said. Hoi An Free Tour currently has 45 active members who are always ready to arrange tour guide schedules every Sunday night. They create an online meeting group and make a list of weekly tourists. The members are allowed to register to be a tour guide on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday morning each week.
Each member is in charge of guiding from five to seven people. Hoi An Free Tour offers its complimentary service to an average of 70 foreigners per week. “I joined the group when I was a freshman. My English skills have significantly improved. I can now communicate fluently and confidently, introducing the country’s image to international friends,” said Ho Le Ngoc Sang, a sophomore. Hoi An Free Tour provides thousands of tourists with a chance to visit the Kim Bong village, which has long been known for its carpentry and traditional woodworking products; to cycle around Hoi An Ancient Town in Quang Nam Province; or to make rice paper at local houses. “We promote the image of Hoi An and other regions of Vietnam through the journeys. The group is trying to expand its tourist destinations to the Tra Que vegetable village or Bay Mau coconut forest to offer visitors more choices,” said Truong Thanh Huong, vice president of Hoi An Free Tour.