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Stories of inspiration and empowerment

As we approach International Women’s Day on 8 March, Asian Trails is proud to promote equity in the workplace and celebrate the important role women play in our industry.

To get an insight into the reality of gender equity and female empowerment in travel and tourism, we asked some of our female staff members about their experiences in the workplace.

Phouangsy Phommixay, our interim General Manager for Laos, said: “Our staff are treated fairly regardless of gender and ethnicity. I’ve been fortunate to work in environments that prioritise diversity and inclusion, thereby fostering a culture of equality and providing opportunities for all employees.”

Dewa Ayu Indah, Assistant Contracting Manager at Asian Trails Indonesia, said: “There is a strong commitment to gender equality at Asian Trails. Fifty per cent of our leaders at Asian Trails Indonesia are women. This has created an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels valued.

“One of my career highlights has been receiving a promotion within just two months of starting a new role – despite still being within my probation period. Working in an environment that values and promotes gender equality has been crucial to my professional growth.”

Delphine Guillon, Deputy Managing Director of Asian Trails Thailand, said: “Asian Trails is an inspiring company to work for where you feel rewarded for the work you put in. Opportunities are given to all regardless of gender and quite a few success stories in the company prove exactly this.”

Hanh Le, Product Manager at Asian Trails Vietnam, said: “I have always been treated equally in other workplaces and Asian Trails is the same. Vietnamese women are known for being powerful and hardworking. Therefore, we are treated with respect, especially in big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City where more women are achieving higher positions in society.”

Virginie Kury, General Manager of Asian Trails Cambodia, said: “We definitely have parity in management roles, and this is great! This is done naturally and by merit, more than through an equity approach.”

Naw Eh May Htoo, Deputy Managing Director at Asian Trails Myanmar, said: “Some associations in Myanmar have superstitious ideas and do not elect ‘leadies’ as their leaders, unlike at Asian Trails Myanmar. We give equal opportunities to all genders.”

Many staff said they advance gender empowerment outside of the office space by producing excursions that are beneficial to women in our host communities.

Wirati Ni Ketut, Product Manager at Asian Trails Indonesia, said: “We have abundant products in Indonesia that help females, such as cooking classes and visits to handicraft villages. These excursions empower women through income distribution.”

Delphine from our Thailand office said:” The employment of former female prisoners in Northern Thailand as massage therapists is an incredible achievement and one that benefits them financially.”

Virginie from our Cambodia office said: “We have tours which help women financially and by extension, their families. The inclusion of the Farmhouse Resort & Spa in our programmes provides a secure job and a fair income for women working at this sustainable resort.”

Hanh Le from our Vietnam office said: “Recently we promoted a women’s scooter food tour in Saigon. This is a popular excursion and the females involved in the execution of the tour gain financially.”

Taking these optimistic responses into consideration, we asked if the tourism industry can help drive global empowerment.

Dewa Ayu Indah from Indonesia said: “The travel industry is a powerful agent for change in providing more career opportunities for females. It is a sector that inherently thrives on diversity and cultural exchange. It not only enhances career opportunities for females, it also contributes to a more vibrant and inclusive workforce.”


Delphine from our Thailand office said: “Every industry can do so as long as it is driven by the organisation and top management. Asian Trails promotes equality and staff wellness and this can be a good role model for others.”

Hanh Le from Vietnam concluded: “Many Vietnamese women living in mountainous areas can benefit from travel industry activities. They have a chance to gain income and this can fund an education that could otherwise be denied to them. Tourism can bring better lives to women in marginalised, remote areas.”

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