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EXO News – November 2015

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EXO Foundation Welcomes New Sustainability Coordinators in Myanmar and Laos

EXO Myanmar and EXO Laos have this month welcomed new sustainability coordinators to their teams. Ameer Virani has joined the office in Yangon and Thuy Nguyen has begun work out of Vientiane. It will be their responsibility to drive the EXO Foundations mission and promote sustainability and responsible travel throughout their respective offices.

Ameer was enthusiastic about his new role, “I can’t wait to start working in Yangon with my new family at EXO. Having studied Responsible Tourism at university in the UK and experienced working with communities in India and Cambodia, I hope to make a positive contribution here in Myanmar. A passion for travel that makes a difference to people’s lives and the wonderful world we live in is what drew me here. I am very excited to learn from my colleagues and work with them so that we can progress together to continue creating better places for people to live in, and better places for people to visit.

Thuy had an equally enthusiastic response when asked about her motivations for the role, “I love waking up everyday and realizing that I am out of my comfort zone and that new places to discover, new people to meet and new things to learn are out there waiting for me. I also love how travel makes me see the place I came from with “new eyes and extra colours”. I had been working in Vietnam for four years before obtaining my Master’s degree in Tourism in New Zealand in 2014. As a firm believer in responsible tourism and sustainable development, I am very much looking forward to starting this new and exciting venture into it. I have always had Laos on my bucket list but never thought that I would find an opportunity to live and work there!”

Vietnam FAM Trip a Great Success

Vespa Famtrip
Vespa Famtrip

At the beginning of the month, a FAM trip was put together to promote central Vietnam and Cambodia to Tour Operators from European agents. Much attention has been brought about due to the introduction and consequent changes of the E-visa system, which now allows certain nationalities to enter Vietnam freely.

11 agents from all over Europe, a member of Vietnam Airways and our Director of Sales for Benelux, Scandinavia and East-Europe, Guy van der Schoot, were all along for the ride.

The main highlight of the trip was considered by most to be Cambodia’s spectacular Angkor Wat, but a number of fascinating, unique experiences also took place. The group enjoyed dinner at the restaurant, Field, comprised of traditional Vietnamese music and food, culminating in a special evening true to Vietnam’s heritage. Airport transfers in vintage American army jeeps were arranged in Danang, a bicycle tour and boat ride followed by a visit to an organic farm in Tra Que also took place and last but not least… a special Vespa tour through the countryside of Siem Reap with many sightseeing stops along the way, including a private blessing ceremony at remote temple and a meeting with a fortune teller!

Toril Gloppholm of Viking World Tours said “I am so thankful for the invitation to the Vietnam and Cambodia FAM Trip! The tour may have been complete with fantastic food, great temples and sights, but in the end, I think we all enjoyed our Vespa tour the most! This was a great trip with filled with a lot of impressions, laughs and fun.”

Malaysia Wins Big at World Travel Awards (Asia and Australasia)

The World Travel Awards for Asia and Australasia recently took place during a Gala dinner at the Intercontinental Grand Stanford in Hong Kong. The biggest winner of the event was Malaysia, taking home the coveted award of Asia’s Leading Destination. Tourism Malaysia also walked away with recognition as the continent’s Leading Tourist Board.

Among the other winners announced, Thailand was named Asia’s Top Beach Destination, Cambodia’s Angkor Wat bestowed with the title of Asia’s Top Tourist Attraction and Hong Kong was cited Asia’s Leading City Break Destination.

Overall, EXO’s destinations once again proved their unrivalled ability to delight and impress, continuing to deliver remarkable opportunities for travellers of all ages and interests.

Asia is Home to Some of the Worlds Best Hotel Spas | Conde Naste Traveller’s Readers Travel Awards 2015

Conde Naste revealed their latest list of the world’s greatest spas from the 2015 Readers Travel Awards. On the list was the Oriental Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Spa at The Nam Hai in Hoi An, Vietnam and also Banyan Tree Spa, of the Banyan Tree in Phuket, Thailand, appearing in 5th, 6th and 8th place respectively. Three of our most sublime destinations appearing in the top 10 is an outstanding result and really goes to show the world-class quality of Asia’s relaxing experiences. Also on the list was The Datai Spa at The Datai Langkawi in Malaysia. Coming in at 16th place it is great to see our newest destination join the fray.

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