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Asian Trails nominated for 2018 World Travel Awards

Being added to the list of distinctive nominees for the 2016 and 2017 World Travel Awards was a great honour for us for the past 2 years. Recognized by travel professionals around the world for our passion for what we’re doing and continuously blazing new paths in travel, Asian Trails is profoundly pleased for being shortlisted in six (!) categories this year.

Your vote, as a passionate travel professional, is to acknowledge that we continue to deliver service stands beyond the call of duty is highly appreciated and confirms that ‘we practice what we preach’. As a trade partner, your voice and vote is of great importance for us to and it acknowledges our contribution to the region as a positive one.

In 2018 we are shortlisted for:

  • Asia’s Leading Destination Management Company 2018
  • Cambodia’s Leading Destination Management Company 2018
  • Laos’ Leading Destination Management Company 2018
  • Myanmar’s Leading Destination Management Company 2018
  • Thailand’s Leading Destination Management Company 2018
  • Vietnam’s Leading Destination Management Company 2018

Please take a minute to register and cast your vote by clicking here

Click on this link and make your vote count

All of us here at Asian Trails are extremely grateful in casting your Asian Trails’ vote before 22 July!

About Asian Trails
Dedicated to tailoring highly-personalized experiences to discerned explorers, Asian Trails captivates the essence of its Asia through its own-managed destinations in East and South East Asia. Each tour is carefully crafted and is an example of the passion all of us have for delivering a unique personality that matches the requirements of today’s demanding traveller.

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Frankfurt welcomes Asian Trails delegation at upcoming 2018 IMEX

With a plethora of new and innovative incentive approaches that suit your customers’ requirements, delegates from Asian Trails Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand are making their way this May to the annual IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany.

From 15 – 17 May 2018, Bjorn Schimanski, Managing Director, Asian Trails Indonesia (Wonderful Indonesia stand, booth B540), Emir Cherif – Managing Director, Asian Trails Malaysia (MyCEB booth number B200) and Yves van Kerrebroeck – Managing Director Asian Trails Thailand (TCEB Booth number B150) are eager to meet travel professionals from around the world and discuss the opportunities at the Messe Frankfurt.

For further inquiries, questions and trying to meet our colleagues before, during or after this leading trade show, feel free to contact us via marketing@asiantrails.org or schedule your appointment via https://www.imex-frankfurt.com/ after registration.

We are looking forward welcoming you to the next edition of the IMEX for blazing new paths in MICE Travel.

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Bali Prepares to welcome Nyepi, the Day of Silence, on 17 March

The exhilaration of deafening sounds filling the streets of Bali will make way for 24 hours of pure silence the following day. Parading and dancing form the décor of what is for many, the introduction to chase away the bad spirits and welcome the new one. A revolution from night to light marks the arrival of Nyepi, the Day of Silence

Local custom requires that all people in Bali observe a day of silence from the morning on 17 March at 06:00 hrs | 6 AM until 06:00 hrs | 6 AM the following day. Residents have to stay indoors, make no noise and switch off all lights for the duration of this period. Major hotels generally permit their guests full use of their various outlets with the understanding that guests will not venture outside the property. Bali’s only airport will also shut down during the entire Nyepi period.

In addition, all hotels around the holy Mount Bromo are closed from 16 March until late afternoon 17 March, seeing properties welcoming guests again on 18 March. With the majority of the ethnic minorities living around the caldera being Hindu, the announcement of seeing overnight partners closing their doors was recently received.

Aside that there are no flights arriving or departing Bali on that day, there will be no excursions operated and all shops and business will be closed. Asian Trails Indonesia office will be closed from Friday 16 March from 15:00 hrs | 3 PM local time and going back online on Monday, 19 March. Emergency services remain standing by in case needed as well our 24-hour emergency numbers remain available.

We thank you for your understanding during these days of silence on our Bali

Kindest regards

 

Asian Trails Indonesia

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The CEO Story: Phu Quoc — Vietnam’s booming island in the sun

I decided to travel to Phu Quoc before ITB Berlin with Tien, our MD in Vietnam, to get an update on the latest developments and hotels on the island. The developments are happening at such a lightning speed that it led to some saying: “You can’t visit this place anymore”. I wish to say this statement is completely wrong as the island is still visitor friendly; one just needs to be selective and have some basic knowledge to recommend the right beach and hotel to the right client.

Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island in the south and a year-round destination. The high season is from October to April when it welcomes a large number of Western tourists, with Asian travellers visiting the island during the summer months.

The island has good air accessibility. Domestic airlines fly to Phu Quoc from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, as well as from the country’s smaller cities. Both scheduled and chartered international flights operate into Phu Quoc airport from Thailand, China, Russia, UK, Italy and the Scandinavian countries. Several regional airlines are planning to add the island to their networks in the next 12-18 months.

Travel to the island is seamless: most visitors, including Western tourists, do not need a visa to visit Phu Quoc provided they don’t leave to the mainland and stay no longer than 30 days.

Charming boutique hotels are plentiful in the north-west and along the beach of Duong Dong, the island’s main town. You will find colonial style properties and eco resorts in the 2 to 4 star superior category, which are charming and have a lovely atmosphere with a Vietnamese flair. Larger local 5 star resorts, mostly built in the Asian contemporary style and many with private beach, also operate in this part of the island. Beaches are clean with white or light brown sand and offer water sports activities and excursions to nearby islands. There is a wide choice of restaurants offering tasty Vietnamese and seafood, as well as a small number of Western eateries.

The south-western part of the island is where most of the developments are taking place, and it is best to avoid this area until the infrastructure is completed in three to four years. The developments here are massive: tens of hotels, hundreds of villas, thousands of apartments, new roads, amusement parks, golf courses, artificial lakes and many more facilities are being built. The beaches on this part of the island are beautiful, but with the noise and dust from the ongoing construction they are not ideal for a quiet vacation.

On the other hand, the south-eastern beach, my personal favourite, where the island’s most luxurious hotel opened last year, is a great place to stay. There are also large ongoing developments here, but they are secluded from the hotel and guests are not disturbed.

On the day I was on Phu Quoc the world’s largest cable car was inaugurated. It is 8 kilometres long and 150 metres high, starts from Phu Quoc’s southern point and connects a series of smaller islands. The panorama is stunning, an ideal way to see the islands from above, and great for people prone to sea sickness since they don’t need a boat to visit the islands now.

What the southern islands are best known for, until the opening of this cable car as an added attraction, are snorkelling and diving. There are some really nice reefs in this part of Vietnam, and they make for interesting day excursions in combination with island visits, beach picnics and other marine activities.

Besides snorkelling, diving and fishing, Asian Trails also offers land excursions on Phu Quoc including forest walks, and visits to fishing village and pearl and pepper farms.

We just launched a foodie tour combining night market and fishing village visits with the tasting of local sea food and other goodies. The tour ends with the sampling of ice cream rolls that I have never seen in any other parts of Asia. We also arrange for lunches and dinners at local homes where guests are welcome to watch or help the host prepare the dishes.

Asian Trails opened its own office in Phu Quoc last year, as we believe in the island’s tourism potential. We are aware that not all the developments are sustainable, and we want to be an active adviser to the local authorities in protecting the environment and in providing long term income to the people. During this period of development, it is also of crucial importance for us to control our own operations since we don’t want to compromise on quality.

The Asian Trails Vietnam team and myself will be happy to advise tourism professionals in selecting suitable properties for their products on Phu Quoc, and to assist in matching the right customer to the right hotel.

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Established Sawarak Long House Damaged Beyond Repair

Asian Trails Malaysia regrets to inform you that one of the leading long house overnight addresses on Sawarak has been completely destroyed as a result of a large fire, engulfing all parts of this traditional accommodation. Fortunately, no injuries were reported at the time of the destructive force of the flames.

The Nanga Mgemah Long House, located in the Lemanak region nearby Taman Negara Batang Ai in Sarawak was part of various packages within the product line of Asian Trails Malaysia. At this stage, our teams on the ground are still assessing the situation and trying to find alternative long houses to accommodate already confirmed guests. Our 2 and 3 days packages at Lemanak as well as our 4 days Lemanak – Batang Ai packages will be put on stop sales until alternative accommodation has been found.

Asian Trails Malaysia will inform all customers individually about this matter, with offering alternative long houses or packages.

If you have any questions, please contact us anytime at res@asiantrails.com.my or at +60 (0)3 2141 5245 during office hours or our 24/7 hotline outside of office hours at +60 (0)19 354 0590.

Kindest regards

Asian Trails Malaysia

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Moung Agung alert levels officially downgraded

Dear friends and business partners

Over the weekend, local experts and authorities have given the official go-ahead to downgrade the alert levels at Bali’s Mount Agung from level 4 to level 3. The news came together with resetting the safety parameter to a 4-kilometer radius and giving some much-needed respite to local residents, living within the vicinity of the crater.

A few villages remain out of bounds, as well the ongoing suspension of hiking and climbing excursions to Mount Agung within the newly-set parameters. Until further notice, we continue to stay in touch with all concerned and remain on alert should the situation change.

Bali’s International Airport continues to operate according to it published schedules, as well all other services, excursions and tours, accommodation and transfer remain fully operational.

Asian Trails Indonesia will continue to monitor the situation. If you have any questions, please contact our reservation team at res@asiantrails.co.id

Best regards,
Asian Trails Indonesia

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Asian Trails well represented at upcoming ITB 2018 in Berlin

Asian Trails will once again be attending the ITB Berlin on 7 – 10 March 2018 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 via the ITB website or contact 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 Ltd
  • Xiaolin Zhang – Managing Director, Asian Trails China
  • Bjorn Schimanski – Managing Director, Asian Trails Indonesia
  • Emir Cherif – Managing Director, Asian Trails Malaysia
  • Thomas Carnevale – Managing Director, Asian Trails Myanmar
  • Yves van Kerrebroeck – Managing Director, Asian Trails Thailand
  • Bui Viet Thuy Tien – Managing Director, Asian Trails Vietnam
  • Thibault Vidal – Business Development Manager, Asian Trails Cambodia
  • Santixay Vongsanghane – Global Market Manager, Asian Trails Laos

About Asian Trails
Founded in 1999, the Asian Trails Group has grown to become Asia’s leading destination management company with operations in 9 countries across East and South East Asia, backed by representation offices across the globe that offer support to our clients in their respective location and time zone.

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The situation around Mount Agung | Frequently Asked Questions

Dear friends and business partners

The situation around Mount Agung on Bali has kept us occupied since September 2017. Although the activity of Gunung Agung has decreased over the last weeks the alert level remains on level IV. The radius which is not accessible has been reduced to a 6km radius (previously 10-12km).

We can reconfirm that Bali remains safe and it is very much business as usual on the island. Nevertheless we continuously monitor with local authorities, on-the-spot experts, and via various online channels and will inform you immediately should the situation change.

As we continue to receive numerous questions from partners about the situation we therefore have prepared the below FAQ in trying to answer all your questions in relation to Gunung Agung.

Kind regards

Björn Schimanski

Managing Director

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How can I monitor the situation?
Asian Trails Indonesia regularly informs all partners about the situation of Mount Agung via its monthly newsletter. In case of an eruption and/or any airport closure, Asian Trails Indonesia will inform all partners immediately and will contact all clients on spot.

Alternative sources to gain information about the latest are MAGMA Indonesia, the Facebook Community “Mount Agung Daily Report” or view the Live Stream of Mount Agung on YouTube. Furthermore, the Bali Tourism Board has prepared an explanatory video which is quite useful.

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Which area around Mount Agung is currently closed?
The local authorities have set a safety parameter around the crater rim depending on the direction. A map of the exact safety parameter is available here via Google Maps. (best viewed in Internet Explorer)

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How can I contact Asian Trails Indonesia?
During office hours (9AM | 09:00 hrs to 6PM | 18:00 hrs during weekdays), you can contact our reservation team via email (res@asiantrails.co.id), by phone +62 (361) 285 771 or WhatsApp service line +62 (0) 895 353 968 295 (during office hours). Outside of office hours and weekends/public holidays, please contact our emergency number at +62 (0) 811 386 9377.

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What kind of assistance will Asian Trails Indonesia provide to affected clients on spot in case the volcano erupts?
Clients should contact either their local representative (contact details mentioned in welcome kit), our service line +62 (0) 895 353 968 295 (during office hours) or the emergency number in case they need assistance. We have our customer service manager, local and airport representatives at Bali International Airport available for all our guests.

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What kind of assistance will Asian Trails Indonesia provide to clients with cancelled flights?
For departing clients, we will provide assistance in re-arranging booked transfers, help to get in contact with airline offices, the consulate and assist in finding accommodation, when needed. For arriving clients, we help to re-arrange itineraries and arrival transfers, cancel unused rooms if Asian Trails Indonesia is notified by agent. We will provide assistance to re-book flights in line with airline policies.

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How can I re-book services in case the original flight was cancelled due to airport closure?
Agents are requested to contact our reservation team during office hours or emergency phone outside office hours, in case services require to be re-arranged in line with arriving flights. Clients on spot should contact their local representative or emergency phone if services need to be re-arranged.

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Which cancellation fee/policies applies?
In general, normal cancellation policy applies if tours, flights and hotels operate according to schedule. However, certain Bali and Lombok hotels offer special cancellation policies or so-called ‘airport closure benefits’ (i.e. free nights or discounted rates). Kindly contact our reservation team if you would like to book a hotel who agreed to offer flexible cancellation policies and airport closure benefits.

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Clients would like to book a trip but are scared to travel. What can I offer them?
Only a small area around Mount Agung’s crater is affected. All main areas on Bali and other islands in Indonesia including Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Flores, Sumba and Papua are accessible without any restrictions. If customers still want to stay on Bali, we recommend offering hotels with either very flexible cancellation policies or/and airport closure free night or discounted rates for departing in-house guests. Please contact our reservation team for more information and recommendations.

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Who will pay for additional expenses caused by volcano eruption?
Volcanic eruptions fall under the force majeure clause. Therefore Asian Trails Indonesia cannot pay for additional expenses. Tour operators or travel agencies wishing to pay for their clients additional expenses should advise us and we will arrange and pay according to your instructions and invoice accordingly.