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Siem Reap’s Amansara temporarily closes its doors in 2019

In a bid to maintain its position as one of the leading hideaways in Cambodia’s Siem Reap, the owners and management of the Amansara have officially announced that they will temporarily close their doors for a full-scale rejuvenation project from 15 June until 31 July 2019 inclusive. According to the official statement from the Amansara, reservations and sales department remain available during office hours.

Housed around elegant central lawns on the former guesthouse estate of King Norodom Sihanouk, Amansara’s 24 suites feature subtle Khmer touches such as sandstone reliefs that duplicate the ruins of nearby Angkor. Expansive glass doors open onto a private garden courtyard with sun loungers and a reflection pond. The signature Aman Spa and an award-winning restaurant greet guests as they check-into Cambodia’s cultural capital.

Forming an essential part of our Exquisite Experiences across our Asia, Asian Trails Cambodia regrets not being able to offer its local food exploration in combination with the Amansara during the aforementioned period. Alternative accommodation during these 2 months can be offered to match with the wishes of an authentic exploration of the culinary kind.

For more information, please contact our office via res@asiantrails.com.kh during office hours. Affected bookings during the said period will be taken up with partners on an individual basis.

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Asian Trails well represented at upcoming ITB 2019

Asian Trails will once again be attending the ITB Berlin on 6 –8 March 2019 at the Messe Berlin.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss the very latest in product innovation, getting an update on all our online projects and giving new and existing customers about our service developments taking place in Asia. In addition, you have the chance to get first-hand information from our country experts exactly how they can benefit your business in their respective country

You can book an appointment by contacting us personally to fit in your preferred timing

On the Asian Trails stand this year (Hall 26b/207) will be:

  • Laurent Kuenzle – CEO, Asian Trails
  • Veronique Ducassy – Managing Director, Asian Trails Cambodia
  • Xiaolin Zhang – Managing Director, Asian Trails China
  • Bjorn Schimanski – Managing Director, Asian Trails Indonesia
  • Virginie Kury – General Manager, Asian Trails Laos
  • Emir Cherif – Managing Director, Asian Trails Malaysia and Singapore
  • Thomas Carnevale – Managing Director, Asian Trails Myanmar
  • Yves van Kerrebroeck – Managing Director, Asian Trails Thailand
  • Bui Viet Thuy Tien – Managing Director, Asian Trails Vietnam

About Asian Trails
We take guests to the Real Asia so they taste, touch and experience the beating heart of every destination they visit. Our portfolio includes wholesale and tailor-made leisure arrangements and a broad range of theme-based tour packages. We continue to innovate and provide an ever-changing range of travel products.

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Large Asian Trails delegation heading to 2019 SATTE in India

As one of the leading trade shows for passionate travel professionals from the Indian Subcontinent, Asian Trails’ presence at the SATTE is guaranteed. From 16 – 18 January 2019, colleagues from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia / Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam will welcome friends and business partners at stand B182 at the India Expo Centre – Greater Noida in India.

Over the past period of time, new travel initiatives, new deals, and product development specifically for our customers will be presented and showcased during this show. With our appointment schedule filling, it will be a sincere pleasure meeting you during this platform to share the latest novelties across East and South East Asia.

For any appointment with one of our colleagues, please feel free to contact Sajith Krishnan – Regional Manager India, Middle East & Asia via sajith@asiantrails.org to confirm a slot with one or more of our local professionals.

We are all looking forward seeing you this coming January at India’s leading platform for travel and tourism-savvy colleagues.

Kind regards

Aravind, Ardy, Ravi, Sajith, Stanley and Yogesh

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Asian Trails’ delegation at the 2019 Asian Tourism Forum in Ha Long

For many years, the Asian Tourism Forum (ATF) has established itself as one of the leading regional trade shows for the travel industry from around the globe. This year again, Asian Trails is able to meet passionate professionals from 14 until 18 January 2019 at the Quang Ninh Exhibition of Planning and Expo Centre (QNEPEC) in Ha Long, Vietnam

A delegation from Asian Trails Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam will showcase the latest in exceptional travel operations with an innovative approach at booth J22. Opportunities aplenty to discuss the very latest in product innovation, getting an update on leisure destinations around the region and giving new and existing partners about our leisure service developments taking place in Asia. In addition, you have the chance to get first-hand information from our experts exactly how your business can benefit with our extensive network through East and South East Asia.

You can book an appointment by contacting us via marketing@asiantrails.org to fit in your preferred timing

Our colleagues attending the ATF 2019 will be

  • Ms Virginie Kury – General Manager, Asian Trails Laos
  • Mr Alexander Leven – General Manager, Asian Trails Vietnam
  • Mr Laurent Loustau – Business Development Manager, Asian Trails Cambodia
  • Mr Do Nguyen Phuong – Inbound Manager, Asian Trails Vietnam

We are looking forward meeting you in Northern Vietnam!

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The CEO Story: Doing Good — Part of Asian Trails’ DNA

A long time ago when I lived in Myanmar I often spent Christmas Eve with the elderly and Catholic sisters at Yangon’s Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged Poor. Since my accident earlier this year my travelling activities have been very (and still are) limited, but I decided to travel to Yangon with family and friends to continue with this tradition.

Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged Poor is a retirement home in Yangon for the poorest of the poor – people who have absolutely nothing. It is very well looked after and managed by the Catholic sisters who devote their life taking care of people who are in the final years of their lives. The Home is open to people of every faith, and today houses over 150 male and female residents.

The residents are very happy to receive visitors and talk to them, particularly about their life experiences and their families. Many have amazing stories to tell and share them joyously with visitors. I cherish these moments with the sisters and residents very much.

The visit always makes me realise how lucky I am, to be born where I was, the privilege of receiving a good education, to have had my own chance at life, to be surrounded by caring family and friends, and to have a job that I love. Most residents at the Home for the Aged Poor never had such chances.

Asian Trails Myanmar organises small events for the residents from time to time. Father Christmas paid them a visit late last month. Sometimes we invite a magician to entertain them, and our managers and staff join them singing songs accompanied by a guitarist. We also set up a play and read from books, and we organise for the young chef association of the hearing impaired to bake cake and cookies for the residents.

Everyone is welcome to visit and share stories with the sisters and residents. Visits can be organised in advance, or guides can spontaneously arrange for one during visiting hours upon request. Today, we think we need to categorise such visits as CSR activities. They can be such, but they can also be just a simple spontaneous visit.

However, I feel that such activities are sometimes politicised. Of course, we don’t want to showcase an Old People’s Home as an entertainment venue. We want to take visitors who have a genuine interest to learn about other people and their cultures, and who want to share their stories with the underprivileged.

This is not voyeurism. It is not about spicing up a city tour. It’s about adding meaning to one’s life and the lives of others. It works both ways.

I am totally against masses of tourists visiting orphanages or similar institutions anywhere in the world, and having a competition to judge who takes the best child photo. But just walking past a village school and having a chat with the kids during their break time is a lot of fun for everyone. We need to keep things in perspective and maintain our common sense. There is nothing wrong with a school visit as long as the principals and teachers approve, and it doesn’t interrupt classes.

Not everything has to be categorised as a CSR activity. Just being out there in the countryside on a bike and learn how the local people live is already a CSR activity. Voluntourism is a different ball game and needs different considerations.

CSR activities are also not about marketing. They are about doing good. It drives me mad when some companies think they need to parade their managers and staff in front of underprivileged communities, the 10-minute give, take picture and leave event. Anyone thinking of doing CSR activities needs to show respect, needs to care about the feelings of those visited, needs to bring meaningful purpose, and to understand the consequences of their actions.

We love to work with local communities in all our countries. It’s part of our lives and part of what we do. We are happy to share our experiences with tourism professionals on what we can organise and what we cannot (or do not want to organise). We will always engage in activities that are beneficial to communities and will always treat them with respect.

The term ‘over tourism’ will ring a bell for all of us. There can be also be over tourism in CSR activities, which we should avoid at all costs. If tourism becomes a burden to communities it is our job to stop it and instead engage in other more suitable activities, or in those with communities in remote locations. Whatever you choose to involve us in, you can always be assured that our activities will be to the benefit of every community.

Let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a healthy and happy 2019. I look forward to seeing many of you at one of the trade shows in the new year. I am, unfortunately, still not in a physical condition to pursue my active travelling patterns but there will be many interesting stories coming your way from my Asian Trails colleagues.

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Monthly closure of Indonesia’s Mount Ijen set in motion

In a bid to keep the surreal landscape of Java’s Mount Ijen intact for the years to come, local authorities have officially announced that it will implement measures to sustain its moonlike crater landscape for the years to come.

Effective from January 2019, the crater, hiking trails and viewing points will be closed for visitors every first Friday of the month. Visitors to this unique landmark in the Banyuwangi Regency of East Java will be offered alternative sightseeing in the region on this day. Together with the local mining community that lives off the labour-intensive sulphur mining, the closing days will be used for cleaning the area and also for improvements of the facilities, to help stabilise the eco-system that surrounds Mount Ijen.

Asian Trails Indonesia regrets informing all concerned about this new measure on such a short notice. Programs and itineraries including visits to Mount Ijen will be adjusted in line with these regulations, either on spot or in advance with our Indonesia team. Alternative sightseeing may be offered to fill in the gap.

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MASwings ceases operations in 8 destinations within Borneo

From 1st January 2019 onward, MASwings will suspend flights to 8 destinations within Sabah and Sarawak.

The affected routes are

  • Kota Kinabalu – Sandakan – Kota Kinabalu
  • Kota Kinabalu – Tawau – Kota Kinabalu
  • Kota Kinabalu – Miri – Kota Kinabalu
  • Kota Kinabalu – Sibu – Kota Kinabalu
  • Kota Kinabalu – Bintulu – Kota Kinabalu
  • Kuching – Sibu – Kuching
  • Kuching – Bintulu – Kuching
  • Kuching – Miri – Kuching

All affected passengers have been notified by the airline via email, SMS blasts and calls and are given the option to change their travels to an earlier date – subject to seat availability – or to be fully refunded.

We appreciate if you can inform all your travel partners about this to avoid any inconvenience for your customers in Malaysia.

Should you have any questions, please contact us anytime at res@asiantrails.com.my or our 24/7 hotline outside of office hours.

Kindest regards
Asian Trails Malaysia

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Asian Trails en primera fila en FITUR | Presenta sus novedades por el verano 2019

 Como cada año Asian Trails estará presente en la próxima edición de FITUR en Madrid.

Los invitamos a encontrarnos con el fin de poder comentar, compartir cualquier tema relativo a la próxima temporada e intercambiar ideas para fortalecer nuestra relación profesional y personal.

Entre el día 23, 24 y 25 de Enero 2019, nos podréis visitar en el stand número 6A13 del pabellón 6 en el recinto de IFEMA, donde tendremos a disposición nuestro propio espacio de encuentro.  Este año contaremos también con la presencia de nuestra representante en España, Natalia Sanchez, Carola Fedele, Xiaolin Zhang, Tiago Taviera de las oficinas de Malasia, China, Vietnam y respectivamente, Maurizio Sartori desde la oficina de Tailandia y el CEO del grupo, el señor Laurent Kuenzle.

Nos ponemos a vuestra entera disposición en caso de querer confirmar con antelación fecha y hora para una cita: Maurizio Sartori (maurizio@asiantrails.org) / Natalia Sanchez (natalia@asiantrails.org)

Acerca de Asian Trails
Desde el 1999 Asian Trails está reconocido como el mejor receptivo en el Sur Este Asiático con sede principal en Bangkok extiende sus servicios personalizados con guía de habla hispana en 9 destinos: Camboya, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malasia, Myanmar, Singapur, Tailandia y Vietnam