Tour OperatorsKhiri Travel’s CEO says that keeping a routine is important even in unprecedented times

Dispatch from the Frontline: Bangkok

Herman Hoven: “We’re still marketing but in a different way”.
Herman Hoven: “We’re still marketing but in a different way”.

BANGKOK - Khiri Travel was founded in 1993 and now has offices and specialist teams in Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos). Herman Hoven was appointed CEO in July 2019 after spending time as Khiri Travel’s general manager Indonesia, based in Bali. In this dispatch from Bangkok, he says that even in a time of turmoil, routine and physical exercise is still important.

1 How has coronavirus affected your daily routine both professionally and personally
I think it is important in these times to try and keep a routine as much as possible. I live within short walking distance from the office so while most of the staff work from home I'm still able to work from the office while practising social distancing and not having to use taxis or public transportation.

On a personal level, although the gym facilities and parks have closed, in order to stay strong mentally, physical exercise is important. Luckily there are a ton of YouTube video's out there for at-home work outs.

2 How has it affected your staff. Have you been able to assist them in any way?
For most staff working from home is a novelty. We've assisted them in setting up the right work stations and trained them with finding a way to work from home in a conducive environment.

But again here, it's important to work with your teams on a routine that is similar to office routine: regular video calls instead of face to face meetings to stay in touch and engaging during regular working hours.

Outside work hours we host a 'happy hour Zoom meeting' to chit chat about most things not work-related.

3 How has life changed on the streets outside your office?
A little more quiet than usual but no major changes.

4 Have you been able to continue marketing your company ahead of recovery? And how?
Yes, but a very different way of marketing — not sales or commercially driven for now. But on a much more personal level:

Our staff share past travel photos and experiences. We show our partners how we are getting through this. Listening to partners' experiences is actually a great way of staying closely engaged with them.

Besides that, all of our offices are working on presentations and webinars for their destinations. The aim here is that our partners’ Khiri product knowledge will be very much up-to-date once travel enquiries comes back.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI