Having been recognised as the leading tour operator in Thailand by the World Travel Awards, Asia World is looking toward 2014 with renewed confidence.
Here Breaking Travel News catches up with managing director Stephen McEvoy to discuss what plans the brand has in story to ensure it retains the title next year.
Breaking Travel News: Perhaps we can begin with a description of what Asia World Enterprise offers to the tourism sector in Thailand and across the continent??
Stephen McEvoy: Since 1997, Asia World Enterprise has welcomed visitors from all over the world to Thailand and south-east Asia, becoming one of the most trusted, reliable and efficient destination management companies in the region.
Our in depth knowledge of Asia will insure your clients enjoy the best quality services and will clearly distinguish Asia World Enterprise from its competitors.
Asia World has their own offices in all destinations and our own transport fleet with full time guides – so no outsourcing.
Our strengths include multilingual foreign and local management in all offices, our own operations offices throughout south-east Asia and access to ICOM – the Asia World online booking system, which operates 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Marketing offices worldwide also cover every time zone to support clients, while professional crisis management is also on hand to protect businesses and clients should the worst occur.
BTN: Which markets are key for the success of the organisation? Do you welcome guests from within Thailand, Asia, or further afield in Europe and North America?
SM: Our main market has always been Thailand but Indonesia is also doing very well, as are Vietnam and Cambodia.
Myanmar has been a struggle because of the lack of hotels but this issue should be resolved over the next two-to-three years.
Outside of south-east Asia we also welcome guests to Sri Lanka, Japan and China.
BTN: Asia World Enterprise has been recognised twice this year by the World Travel Awards – as both Asia’s Leading Tour Operator and Asia’s Leading Travel Agency. How important are these victories for the brand?
SM: This was a very important occasion for Asia World in terms of public relations and brand recognition.
The reaction from our travel partners around the world has been very heart-warming.
Indeed, the most common message we have received is ‘Asia World deserves it’.
BTN: Do you have any investment plans in place for 2014 to ensure Asia World Enterprise remains ahead of the competition in Thailand?
SM: In the first quarter of 2014 we will be announcing our expansion plans which will include new operations in Malaysia and Singapore.
There will be some additional investment which Asia World has attracted to help fund these new projects.
BTN: How supportive are governments in south-east Asia to tourism? Is there anything you could change in order to facilitate the growth of the sector in the region?
SM: Our tourist boards are very pro-active and we do have great relationships with their satellite offices around the world.
Of course, infrastructure can always be improved, especially in new destination like Myanmar.
The biggest challenge is to manage different market and expectations from our clients.
While mass tourism is popular for governments in terms of revenue, this has to be tempered with conserving the beauty and national resources of each destination.
BTN: Finally, one topic making headline recently has been Myanmar. How much potential do you feel this destination has in the tourism sphere?
SM: As mentioned above, we feel that Myanmar is a work in progress and it will be several years before it fulfils its potential.
More hotels and a better infrastructure need to be established. Roads and transportation must be improved also.
The country has a lot to offer and I can envisage that it will be a strong competitor for Thailand eventually.
There is more information on the services offered by Asia World on the official website.