Spotlight On: Telling the Truth is Important
Please tell us your title and job description at Khiri Travel.
I am a bilingual Tour Guide in Burmese and English at Khiri Travel Myanmar. My job is to provide the best service to my clients. I have to make sure I explain everything very clearly. Telling the truth is very important especially in terms of the history and politics of my country. I want to help my clients feel confident about interacting with the local people.
How long have your worked for Khiri Travel and what inspired you to choose this kind of work?
I joined Khiri over one year ago in 2014. When I was growing up I saw tour guides in my hometown and was fascinated how the guide could communicate with the tourists. This inspired me to become a guide in order to communicate and share about my country and culture to visitors.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 23 years old and I live with my grandmother in Yankin Township of Yangon. In my free time I am studying French, but I also like listening to music and watching English movies to improve my pronunciation.
My favorite food is mohinga (fish soup with rice noodles) but I also like to eat Thai food.
What is your favorite destination and why?
I like to travel to Inle Lake because there are no traffic jams there. The weather is really nice and the people are very friendly. My clients really like Inle also and find the native costumes and traditional lifestyle of the ethnic minority people very interesting.
What kind of clients do you work with the most and how do you manage their expectations?
I mostly work with American and British luxury clients. I am studying French for a second foreign language to be able to help more customers. Most of the tourists to my country live or have traveled in developed countries, so what they are accustomed to is very different than what we have here in Myanmar. I like to focus on these differences so my clients can get a deeper understanding of the country. Things like local transportation are still on a very different level. This is important to understand.
What extras do you do for special guests or VIP’s?
All my clients are VIPs for me. They are all very important to me. For honeymoon couples I try to give them more privacy. Once I find out what they are interested in, I try not to disturb them too much.
Can you describe a tour with families?
I start with the parents to discuss if they or their children have special needs or wishes. This is not usually a problem. Whenever there are families with teenagers, I often try to negotiate compromises because of the different interests of the parents and the teenagers. I assess the situation and act on what’s best for all.