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A Story of a Customer

The Asian Trails companies have established a network which now covers all major Asian tourist destinations. With offices in all strategic inbound tourism centers throughout South East Asia, today the Asian Trails uniform can be seen in most countries in the region, from Thimphu, in the Kingdom of Bhutan to the Lesser Sunda Islands in the Indonesian Republic.

The Asian Trails vision was first conceived in April 1999 by a consortium of shareholders, most prominently Luzi Matzig and Evie Diethelm. Luzi Matzig had formerly been with Diethelm Travel Thailand for 29 years, while it was Evie Diethelm’s great grandfather who founded the Diethelm trading company at the end of the last century.

Asian Trails Ltd., Thailand, was the first to start operating on September 09, 1999 with a staff of now 100-plus experienced managers and travel specialists. Its headquarters are in state-of-the-art offices on the 15th and 16th floors of Mercury Tower in downtown Bangkok, with easy access by skytrain, buses and taxis. There are branch offices in Phuket and Samui and the company is expected to handle 90,000 clients in Thailand during 2002 with a projected turnover of 550 Million Baht.

As official handling agents for major international tour operators such as the Kuoni Group of companies including Kuoni Switzerland, France, Spain and Holland (Special Traffic), as well as for TUI Touristik Union International, Asian Trails Thailand provides quality destination services to multilingual clients at competitive rates.

Besides Thailand, there are now Asian Trails companies in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia, all offering the same high standard of services.

The organization was deliberately not set up as a parent company with subsidiaries. Instead, a network of independent companies was created. All the Country Managing Directors are shareholders in their respective companies and have signed agreements binding them to each other and to their respective companies. In addition, nearly all of them hold shares in the other Asian Trails companies. This web of cross shareholding ensures that there is a powerful motivation everywhere that all the Asian Trails companies perform at the highest possible level.

Luzi Matzig personally is the majority shareholder and Managing Director of Asian Trails Ltd. in Thailand and also holds important stakes in all companies outside Thailand for which he acts as Group Managing Director.

The Managing Directors in Myanmar, Laurent Kuenzle, in Cambodia, Jacques Guichandut and in Malaysia, Serge Huber, each own sizeable portions of shares as well. Country Managing Directors in Indonesia and Laos have relatively smaller shareholdings, depending on local partners. A major partner in Indonesia is the Panorama group, one of the leading tour companies in the country. Panorama owns a fleet of 120 modern coaches and, as licensee for Gray Lines, is the largest operator of seat-in-coach sightseeing tours in Bali.
Asian Trails Indonesia’s Managing Director is Willem Loots, previously with Thomas Cook-Colours of Asia. In Vietnam Asian Trails set up offices in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi under Director Ms. Bui Thuy Tien. In Bhutan a business cooperation agreement has been signed with Pristine Druk-Yul Tours & Travel for Asian Trails Bhutan, with its head office in Thimphu.

All Asian Trails companies operate on the same platform, the TOPAXT Management passenger handling system. Asian Trails has created the only truly integrated service net in Asia, where the lines between front and back offices have subtly been blurred by database management, and full use is made of information technology. Online access via the web with instant confirmations of reservations and rates for hotel bookings and package tours was introduced in August 2001. An efficient team of experienced managers, who know their individual terrain extremely well, works in harmony towards the same goal. All are continuously scouting for innovative products and are in daily contact with each other, sharing ideas and information. Training programs are coordinated throughout the network to ensure that quality is maintained at a consistent level everywhere and at all times. In short, Asian Trails has become a standard and aspires to be seen as the benchmark against which others are judged.

Asian Trails Ltd.
15th Floor, Mercury Tower, 540 Ploenchit Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: (66) (0) 2658 6080-9
Fax: (66) (0) 2658 6099
E-mail: res@asiantrails.org
www.asiantrails.net, www.asiantrails.com

 
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