An Update on the Asian Trails Family


Asian Trails Indonesia - Office lunch
Asian Trails Indonesia – Office lunch
Asian Trails Vietnam - Chinese New Year 2022
Asian Trails Vietnam – Chinese New Year 2022

This CEO story is about the people who make Asian Trails what it is today: our employees. I would like to dedicate this article to the 450 Asian Trails staff. This is to say thank you for being part of the Asian Trails family in these difficult times and to tell my readers what colleagues have been doing during their work and free time.

Most of our employees have been operational on a fifty per cent work schedule and reduced salaries since 2020 and life has changed substantially for the majority. Working from home has been a challenge, with limited infrastructure in many of our countries of operation. Trying to balance work and family life has not been an easy task.

Asian Trails Cambodia - Happy Women's Day from Cambodia
Asian Trails Cambodia – Happy Women’s Day from Cambodia

We have not only supported our employees financially, but also helped to look after their physical and mental well-being. Each country’s managing director has helped with tips and tricks on how to exercise and eat a healthy diet, on staying connected with colleagues and friends, on keeping busy and entertained, on developing new skills and also learning how to deal with social media and constant negative Covid-19 news.

We have a focused agenda on what objectives we want to achieve during these testing times. We never lose sight of our long-term objectives and our strategy, but steps to achieve our pre-defined goals have been adapted to ongoing situations. I always recommend a focus on small steps, even if these may seem inconsequential, since lots of small steps will bring us up the ladder to reach our targets. It is important to never stand still.

With our clients at the centre of everything we do, constant online communication remains critical. With a preference, we conduct this personally through one-on-one calls. We also continue with activities that improve our client’s knowledge of our destinations and products. We arranged webinars such as fun cooking classes and language lessons just to mention two examples. It is not just about keeping engaged on the business side of things, but also about simply keeping in touch.

A distinct focus at Asian Trails is the improvement of our technology and connectivity. Our teams are working hard on taking us to the next level of technology and there will be a lot of news on new developments in our newsletters next year.

Product improvement and the creation of new excursions and multi-day tours have kept our product teams busy. In line with our ‘Explore and Trails’ product philosophy, we look forward to welcoming customers to our improved themed Sustainability Trails, Family Trails, villa holidays and many other new and updated programmes. When our borders reopen, we will be operating new walking excursions with our partners Vox City Walk. These fun itineraries involve hop-on hop-off walking tours in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi and they include self-guiding options.

I am really proud that many of our employees used their free time to get involved in volunteer work. Covid-19 hit developed nations very hard and with limited help from most governments in South-East Asia and officials overwhelmed by their tasks, many private organisations took it upon themselves to help.

Our colleagues volunteered in many ways, such as organising logistics for Covid-19 isolation centres, finding oxygen and filling oxygen bottles through private sources, distributing food packages and donating clothes to the poor, organising and supporting activities at an orphanage, undertaking administration work at local councils, helping to connect medical teams with patients, donating items in short supply, assisting with a suicide awareness campaign and taking care of abandoned animals are just some of the selfless intervention activities.

Many employees acquired new skills and learning a new language proved popular among many. We organised English, French and Thai lessons in some offices and numerous staff took online courses in Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German and Italian. It was lovely to hear a Thai and a Vietnamese converse in Spanish and correct each other’s pronunciation: welcome to Asian Trails’ ASEAN friends meeting European languages!

Besides English lessons, we also organised classes in social media skills, as well as in geography and history. A passion for history inspired one of our employees to create a history Instagram account to share his love of old pictures and information on the kingdom of Solo/Surakarta.