There are many reasons we want to book hotels on behalf of our overseas guests and business partners, but the short answer is that it works towards a stronger and more sustainable travel ecosystem for all of us...it empowers us to build our businesses locally, to spend locally, to support locally.
A year ago we thought we were almost over this thing, and then the endless 3rd wave came like a tsunami and again challenged every notion we'd had, forced us to rethink our worst outcome business plans, necessitated yet more innovation and creativity, more funny accounting to balance the books, new ways to engage staff and clients, the weekly struggle to look alive in the darkest moments. It’s not like we’re storming Normandy or anything like that. We learned a new game face. It’s mostly handsome.
Traveling the sandboxes to Thailand during Q4 2021 and early Q1 2022 is a once-in-fifty year experience. It is the tourism crowds of the 1960’s, with the prices of the 1990’s, and the modern luxuries of 2021. Like a sneak preview of pre-tourism Thailand, come now, before the world returns.
A Case for Phuket beyond the beach: Part II – Phuket’s Creative Scene / Community-Based Tourism / More Food & Drink
My first visit to Phuket was back in 1995. I remember the island already seemed well developed, full of luxurious resorts and naturally stunning beaches.
Phuket is undoubtedly the most famous island in Thailand, if not all of Asia. Fame comes with a price of course, and perhaps for that reason there are many people around the globe who connect Phuket’s global fame to somehow lacking local authenticity. Over the years of building a travel business, people have often asked: “should we visit Phuket? We’re not really beach people. Is it over-developed?”
Southeast Asian countries have been closed off from international tourism for 15 months and counting. There is hope on the horizon for gradual openings, but this long pause has given everyone in the industry time to reflect. If we could start again, would we do anything differently? What would we do better? There may not be time to go back to zero and start from scratch, but the pause certainly has given time to consider a few challenges.
Ideas around customer service are one of the most heavily covered topics in modern business. At my own business we train for it, dissect it, review it, and obsess over it, and we don’t get it perfect every time. But it occurred to me that while plenty has been discussed or written about how to be great at customer service, very little is discussed or written about how to be a great customer.
As we thought more about it, it became apparent that it had nothing to do with the canvas. The location. The destination. How could we have momentarily forgotten our purpose on earth? Nothing we ever did was about the destination. It is about value. The journey. The pleasant surprise. The spontaneity. Our journeys have always been a metaphor for life.
In the middle of a once-in-a-generation global slowdown that's decimated the travel industry, an opportunity came along that asked us to craft an experience that would have pushed us to our limit even if we were firing on all cylinders, for clients who had literally seen and done it all.
Yesterday our team at Smiling Albino and I had the good fortune to host 6 local expat + Thai guests on a cycling adventure exploring the diverse riverside communities in old Bangkok. Value might be a tricky thing to define, but for us it’s simple...fun!