Mr. Anton – Local guide in Sri Lanka
Why I enjoy the tours here, at Khiri Travel Sri Lanka, is because each tour is different from one another and we also get to experience new things and visit new places.
When did you first start working as a chauffeur guide and what made you join the travel industry?
It was in 2009 that I started doing tours as a chauffeur and I got my chauffeur guide license in 2011. Why I fell in love with this job is because it’s not a 9-5 desk job and allows me to travel and also meet new people at the same time.
When did you start working with Khiri Travel Sri Lanka and what makes you enjoy working with Khiri?
I started working with Khiri Travel Sri Lanka in 2017 and initially what struck me the most was the atmosphere and culture at the office. Everyone in the team is very welcoming and makes you feel like you are also part of the team. The respect given to each and every person is something that I really appreciate. In the previous companies that I worked for, sometimes you are treated like just another freelance driver but here at Khiri I’ve felt that I am respected for the role I do as a chauffeur guide. Why I enjoy the tours here is because each tour is different from one another and we also get to experience new things and visit new places that are not in the usual round tour route. Before joining Khiri what I was doing was basically the same old round tours where only the hotels change depending on whether it is 4 Star or 5 Star.
What are your special interests when it comes to tours and what do you like to do at home when you are not on a tour?
Sri Lanka being an island with such diversity, every guide over here needs to have a wide knowledge ranging from history, wildlife, nature or culture. I personally like bird watching and nature tours which I would rate as my forte but I am totally adaptable according to clients’ interests. When not on tour, I like to spend as much as time with my family at home. When at home I like to do gardening and help with stuff like painting and color washing the house which I prefer to do myself rather than outsourcing.
What is your favourite place in Sri Lanka and why?
I would say it is the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Although it is a highlight which almost everyone visits, every time I visit there I am awestruck and feel a sense of pride of how our ancestors managed to create such an architectural masterpiece. And the best thing about Sigiriya is that it is not just history but also has a nature element to it, especially if you are climbing early in the morning.
What are the things that you do to make things more special for your guests?
It’s actually not big things but a collection of little things that matter. The first couple of days is vital for me as that’s when I gauge the client’s special interests and requirements. For example, identify if the client likes to eat spicy food or non-spicy and then make sure I inform all the hotels and restaurants that the clients visit without them having to inform every time. Also another important thing is to know when to talk and when to keep quiet, when to give historical facts and when to share more personal stories instead and likewise. These things cannot be thought of but you learn on the job.