Traveling on the roads less traveled in Thailand, 2019
As tourist arrivals keep growing in the Land of Smiles, an estimate of over 39 million people visited Thailand this year. With many people flocking to popular tourist spots, congestion and overcrowding at many attractions has been a concern for most guests. With policies geared at making heavily trafficked regions more sustainable, the Thai tourism industry has been looking for ways to disperse travelers more evenly throughout the country. As the Thai government seeks to promote the lesser-known regions, Khiri Travel Thailand has been also focused on developing travel products to the less-visited provinces.
In 2019, our teams have been coordinating with local suppliers to offer exciting new excursions into upcoming hotspots including: Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani, Loei, Sakon Nakhon, Phitsanulok, etc.
On top of exploring these new provinces, we are proud to offer a new selection of experiences, called “Personalities.” They allow clients the opportunity to meet with locals and expatriates who are eager to share their stories: it is a unique way to gain new insights and perspectives into topics that interest our guests. In addition to these riveting conversations, our “personalities” will share their way of life in Thailand with our travelers for an unforgettable journey.
While we focus our efforts on growing in the right and sustainable direction, our teams and guides underwent ChildSafe training conducted by “Friends International NGO.” They focus on protecting children and at-risk youths around the world. We continue our commitment towards promoting responsible tourism: in order to better inform our guests of the proper ways to interact with local children, as they travel to remote regions of our country. For 2020, Khiri Travel Thailand moves forward expanding our guide team and having all of our operators undergo hands-on training in order to provide consistent and exceptionally high level of service.
In 2019, as we reviewed all our internal processes to increase the efficiency of our staffs including sales, reservation, accounting, and operations: there were some significant changes to our team. Vincent Leutwiler was promoted to Branch Manager for both Chiang Mai and Phuket offices. The key positions of Head of Travel Design and Assistant General Manager were filled by Patchanee Sudsai (Queen) and Marek Bis. With the new Head of Travel Design, Khiri Thailand is going to concentrate on luxury product development as well as further training our sales teams. Our signature tours will be reviewed and updated, while adding new sustainable off-the-beaten-track excursions. With our General Manager Peter Weibel stepping down, Khiri Thailand welcomes Philip Wigglesworth as the new General Manager in 2020. With more than 30 years of experience in the tourism industry, he will lead the teams into the new year.
As Khiri Travel Thailand wraps up the year, we did not forget to show our gratitude and appreciation to our teams from Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket: our team went on a well-deserved staff outing to Koh Samet just before gearing up for the next high season. The fun weekend started with a beach clean-up followed by fun activities and a seaside dinner.
When temperatures were dropping off this month due to a cold front from China, our Bangkok office joined our Chiang Mai colleagues to donate blankets to schools in the northern provinces which saw a massive temperature drop. For 2020, the teams will further concentrate on implementing sustainability initiatives in all our products as well as streamline our office operations. With ambitious goals ahead, we look forward to another fantastic year!