Thailand is a perennial favourite, and it is easy to see why. Golden temples, bustling markets, historic palaces, delicious food, wonderful beaches and the world's friendliest welcome inspire travellers to return year after year. Each time you visit the country, there is something new to experience – evermore luxurious resorts, a vibrant capital, magical mountain scenery, local crafts and unique hill tribes. Thailand once experienced will never be forgotten.
From lively, exotic Bangkok and the fascinating northern region of Chiang Mai, to the tropical island resorts of Phuket, Krabi or Samui; Thailand really is the perfect destination for every incentive event.
Group Managing Director, Asian Trails
TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE AT ASIAN TRAILS, BASED IN BANGKOK?
In my function as Group Managing Director Asian Trails and VP Kuoni Destination Management Asia-Pacific, I lead and supervise our destinations in China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia and Australia. All country Managing Directors report to me in Bangkok, and my particular focus includes the setting of objectives and strategy, overview the implementation of that strategy, financial target setting and accounting reviews, the business development at each destination according to their individual characteristics, as well as the supervision of the operations side of the business.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT SOUTH EAST ASIA?
I believe that everyone has that certain spot on planet earth where he feels comfortable the first time he sets foot on. For some this is the good comforts of home, for me it was Asia. I came here for the first time when I was 16 years old. It just felt right the minute I stepped out of the plane. I was 20 years old when I took up my first job in Asia, and I can’t imagine living and working anywhere else.
First of all I like the people and the mentality. I love the way of life. The diversity comes next: amazing cultures, stunning sceneries, beautiful beaches, ethnic diversity, incredible food. I shouldn’t forget the climate as I don’t like the cold and feel right at home under the sun and warmth of South-East Asia.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS SO UNIQUE ABOUT THIS DESTINATION?
What is unique is that each destination I look after is so different from the other. It’s a very easy sell really. There is something in Asia for everyone. Mountain, beach, ocean, art, culture, history… you name it. And all of this with a people who welcome foreign visitors with open arms and a big smile. What makes our destinations attractive as well is that money takes you much further than anywhere in the Western hemisphere.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO A TRAVEL PROFESSIONAL WHO IS PLANNING A TRIP IN YOUR DESTINATION?
Listen to us, the destination specialists. Our part of the world undergoes constant changes. We keep up with these changes. See us as your trusted advisor. A travel professional conveying the correct message on what his or her client’s personal travel preferences are, will in return receive professional and personal travel advice, something the Internet can’t convey.
WHAT ROLE DO GREEN MEETINGS HAVE IN ASIA?
Even though the developing world, including most of the countries I represent, try hard to keep up with everything and anything associated with ‘going green’, it is a term that is not easy for most to understand and implement in whatever they are doing in the tourism value chain. The priority of economic development does not go well with the protection of the environment. No country seems to learn from another, and many countries first go through a destruction cycle before realising that they should preserve natural resources. For some it’s too late, others are able to implement corrective measures. As Asian Trails we approach this topic pragmatically by educating our staff, suppliers and stakeholders in the benefits of green tourism in order to preserve the beauty of their tourism destination for the tourists of the future.
WHAT ARE CURRENTLY THE MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA?
This question can’t be answered in general as it depends on the visitor’s personal interests and travel style. Each country has its unique characteristics. They key is in identifying the personal preferences of visitors and to advise them on what is their personal most suitable destination.
WHAT SERVICES WILL YOU BE FOCUSING ON IN THE FUTURE?
The focus is to offer the widest possible choice of services so that the visitor can pick and choose what suits him best as well as his budget. Our most popular services are classic cultural tours, Explore, soft adventure, cruises and services associated with beach holidays. What we very much focus on is the distribution of our services in order to have the largest possible variety of B2B channels prior to the clients’ departure from his home country, and the largest possible variety of B2C channels once the customer arrives at the destination.
General information -THAILAND
AREA 513,115 km²
CAPITAL CITY Bangkok
CURRENCY Thai Baht
TIME ZONES + 07:00 (GMT/UTC)
COUNTRY PHONE CODE +66
ELECTRICITY 220 V (EU)
TIPPING In general, a 10% service charge is added to most bills. Any small change on top of this is welcomed.
BANKS OPENING HOURS Banking hours are from 8:30 am to 15:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except public and bank holidays.
HEALTH Pharmacies sellings local and international medicines are available nationwide.
NATIONAL PUBLIC HOLIDAYS New Year Day: 01.01.2012, Chinese New Year:09.02.2013,Magha Bucha: 25.02.2013, Chakri Memorial Day: 06.04.2013, Songkran (Thai New Year): 14.04.–16.04.2013, Labour Day: 01.05.2013, Coronation Day: 05.05.2013, Wisakha Bucha: 24.05.2013, Asalaha Bycha:22.07.2013, Bhuddist Lent: 23.07.2013, HM The Queen Sirikit's Birthday: 12.08.2013, Chulalongkorn Day: 23.10.2013, Loy Krathong Day:17.11.2013, His Majesty The King Bhumipol's Birthday:05.12.2013, Constitution Day: 10.12.2012
CONTACT Asian Trails Co. Ltd., 9th Floor, SG Tower, 161/1 Soi Mahadlek Luang 3, Rajdamri Road, Lumpinee Pratumwan, Bangkok 10330