Are Tourista and Saigon Silver Star Based on Real Tour Companies?

Image Credit: Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Netflix’s romantic comedy film ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ follows Amanda Riley, who works for Tourista, an international tour company based in Los Angeles. When Vietnam becomes one of the most popular destinations among international tourists, Amanda’s boss Mona sends her to the Asian country to evaluate Saigon Silver Star, a local tour company that has been receiving incredible online reviews for a while. Mona plans to buy the company and integrate it into Tourista for her company to have a significant presence in the country. Intrigued by the tale of two companies, we set out to find out whether they have real-life counterparts. Here’s what we can share about the same!

Does Tourista and Saigon Silver Star Really Exist?

No, Tourista and Saigon Silver Star are not real tour companies. The fictional companies are conceived by Eirene Donohue, the screenwriter of the film. ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ is partially based on Eirene’s real-life experiences. Like Amanda, Eirene did go to Vietnam for a trip after a breakup, only to meet the love of her life, Brad, in the country. Although Eirene and Brad’s meeting and eventual togetherness form the foundation of the film’s narrative, Amanda and Sinh Thach are fictional characters who cannot be considered the counterparts of the real-life couple.

Image Credit: Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Eirene didn’t travel across Vietnam as the executive of a tour company named Tourista. Nor Brad was a tour guide who was working for a company named Saigon Silver Star. The screenwriter conceived both these companies as part of the fictional framework of the real-life inspired film. Eirene uses Tourista’s wish to buy Saigon Silver Star as the central conflict in the narrative since the same challenges the togetherness of Amanda and Sinh. After spending considerable time together, they both start to nurture feelings for each other, only for Sinh to feel betrayed when he comes to know that Amanda arrived in Vietnam to snatch his uncle’s company from him.

Eirene also uses the differences between Tourista and Saigon Silver Star to explore the way of life in Vietnam. For Tourista’s owner Mona, her company is only a commercial establishment without any emotional ties. For Sinh, who runs the company for his uncle, Saigon Silver Star represents the traditions and nuances of his Vietnamese culture. While multi-national tour companies take tourists to the popular sites in Vietnam, the locally-rooted company takes its tourists to places where one can “absorb” the beauty of the country.

Image Credit: Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Amanda’s visits to My Son Sanctuary and Sinh’s village change the way she approaches life, which wouldn’t have been possible if she has been touring with a company like Tourista. As the executive completes her evaluation, she realizes that Saigon Silver Star doesn’t need many changes. Her evaluation shows the significance and uniqueness of locally-rooted establishments in countries with rich cultures like Vietnam. Eirene wrote the film as a love letter to the country and through the differences between the two tour companies, she succeeded in showcasing what it is like to immerse in the Asian country’s culture and lesser-known sites.

In addition, both Tourista and Saigon Silver Star reflect the personalities of Amanda and Sinh respectively. Like Tourista’s pre-planned itinerary, Amanda likes to plan her future meticulously. Sinh, on the other hand, embraces the unexpected in the same way Saigon Silver Star astounds its clients with astonishing surprises.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s A Tourist’s Guide to Love Filmed?