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Budget blazes new ‘MIDDLE-ROAD’ for Tourism in Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Dec 8, 2008 -

Budget Rent A Car is revving up Vietnam’s tourism market with the launch of World-Class Drives, a collection of itineraries that make exploring the country easier, safer and more comfortable than any other transportation offering on the market.

The new program, which is modeled loosely after the brand’s popular offering by the same name in Thailand, features 15 short trips originating out of Ho Chi Minh City and seven more that allow for excursions further afield. It also permits customers to build their own itineraries, so they can do what they want to do, when they want to do it.

“World-Class Drives bridges the gap between completely independent travel and full-on packaged tours where you’re told where to eat, sleep and shop,” said Dan Cohen, Budget Vietnam’s general manager. “You see Ho Chi Minh City and the surrounding areas on your own terms, your own schedule, in the comfort of your own vehicle.”

Unlike the World-Class Drives program in Thailand, the Vietnam version encourages the use of a driver. The country’s roads are often congested with motorbikes — the primary mode of transportation for most Vietnamese — that can make those thoroughfares feel frenetic to foreigners.

Budget Vietnam’s chauffeurs are well-trained residents who have been negotiating the country’s busy highways and byways for years. They also function as traveling concierges, complete with strong English-language skills and knowledge of the immediate region.

“These itineraries not only aim to provide access to destinations that are off the beaten path, but unrivalled insight into those places once you get there, in the form of a walking, talking encyclopedia,” said Cohen.

He added: “Going to Cu Chi, for example, should be about more than just seeing the famed tunnels. It should be about visiting the surrounding areas, going to a non-tourist restaurant to dine, soaking up the essence of the local culture. That idea is at the core of this program.”

Among the other half- or full-day trips World-Class Drives affords are journeys to the Mekong Delta, the seaside resort town of Vung Tau and the Binh Chau Hot Springs. There are even short tours specially designed for war veterans, cooking buffs, families and golfers.

Long-haul options include Ho Chi Minh City to Cat Tien National Park and the former French hill station of Dalat to a number of coastal destinations. They too come with the freedom to explore in much the same way a traveler would if they were behind the wheel themselves.

“Many tourists don’t like having a guide by their side all the time,” Cohen explained. “In fact, it can be a nuisance.

“Our drivers give you the benefits that a guide offers without the drawbacks. They understand discretion, they speak great English and are well-versed in the drives.”

Budget, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has approximately 3,400 locations in more than 125 counties. Budget is owned by Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NYSE: CAR), which operates and franchises the brand throughout the world.

About Budget Vietnam
Launched in 2008, Budget Vietnam is the first and only international standard car rental outfit in Vietnam. Its superior fleet of vehicles, exceptional team of drivers and world-class customer service make it the premier provider of rental cars for discerning travelers and businesses alike.

Budget Vietnam focuses on delivering outstanding value and services to four key markets: high-end leisure travelers; inbound corporate travelers; corporate fleet solutions; and golf and resort transfers. Led by an international management team and supported by a company with more than 15 years of local experience, Budget Vietnam is positioned for long-term success in the flourishing Vietnamese market. For more information, visit www.budget.com.vn.

About The Gannon Group
The Gannon Group is one of the oldest and most well established private companies in Vietnam today, with a history of building solid business platforms for long-term growth. Since 1994, the firm has been known as one of the nation’s largest providers of full-service asset management including importation, bonded warehousing, delivery and invoicing.

The Gannon Group comprises nine business units: Beverage Production; Brewing; Floorcoverings; Hospitality Security Solutions; Industrial Property Development; Lifestyle Consumer Products; Power Generation; Rental Car; and Warehousing, Labeling and Logistics. It also owns and operates a state-of-the-art Tetra Pak-based beverage facility, engineered to produce a variety of ready-to-drink beverages. Additional information is available at www.gannon.com.vn.

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