Thirty Years of Tours to Thailand
Jetour (Thailand) Co., Ltd. was founded by the Visavachaipan family in 1976, and for the past 30 years it has been providing a one-stop travel service and Thai tour packages for clients in Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau.
The vision behind the founding of the company was straightforward, explains Nipa Visavachaipan, Jetour’s Chairman. “We decided that our new business should have three goals. The first was to be the finest inbound travel service provider in Thailand. The second was to lead through ideas, reinvention and reliability. The third was to service all of our customers’ travel needs.”
When Jetour first commenced operations in the Samphantawong district of Bangkok, it employed just one office staff and two tour guides. One year later, it relocated to Sukhumvit Road Soi 4 before finally moving to its current address on Phetchaburi Road. Today, the company employs about 50 office staff and 90 tour guides to service its approximately 75,000 clients per year.
“When we first opened, there were not that many tour operators doing business in Thailand,” says Pornsri Visavachaipan, Jetour’s Deputy Managing Director. “Today, there are a plethora of travel and tour companies and the industry has become extremely competitive. As a result, it is paramount to our existence that we keep the prices of our tour packages attractive.”
Another way that the company has maintained its competitive edge, according to Khun Pornsri, is by advertising. “Our company has invested a great deal of money on print advertising and television commercials. For example, we feature Hong Kong celebrities on our TV commercials in Hong Kong in order to promote our tour packages to Thailand.”
Khun Pornsri believes that the secret to her company’s success is elementary. “Jetour is the leading Thai tour operator in the Hong Kong and Singapore markets because we provide a safe environment, excellent accommodation and good food for all our clients. When people feel safe, eat and sleep well, they tend to be happy.” This philosophy is summed up in the Jetour’s company motto: ‘We provide customer satisfaction at all times’.
In order to ensure client safety at all times, Jetour’s only uses licensed vehicles and drivers, and all of its tour packages include accident insurance. Furthermore, the company only employs professionally licensed tour guides who are trained in basic first aid and fluent in Chinese and English.
Although Jetour’s package tours focus mainly on Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai, and Hua Hin, Khun Pornsri says that there are other up-and-coming destinations, such as the provinces of Khorat, Chachoengsao and Trang. “Trang has more than its share of beautiful islands and picturesque beaches. All it needs to take that next step up to being a major destination is more accommodation and transportation services.”
Continuing to come up with new and exciting destinations to keep customers happy is a major reason why Jetour has had so many repeat clients. “Most of our customers are Asian travellers who have been to Thailand many times because of its close proximity to their country,” says Khun Pornsri. “As a result, it is more difficult to get them to return because they have already seen most of the major tourist destinations. To cope with this challenge, we have made it our policy to introduce new destinations and packages to our clientele every two or three years which gives them a reason to keep coming back.”
In addition to providing commercial airline booking and ticketing services, the company can also arrange charter flights as well as all ground transportation via either coach, van or private car. Jetour also offers a great deal of support services for meetings, conventions, exhibitions, incentive trips and other special events.
Over the years, Jetour has organised many successful high profile tour programs, such as the World Boxing Council (W.B.C.) Convention in 1985 and the World Bank Meeting in 1991. Also, it has organised trips for the contestants of at least four Miss Hong Kong beauty pageants – in 1986 (Phuket), 1993 (Pattaya), 2003 (Phuket) and 2005 (Phuket).
Furthermore, the company is very proud of the role it has played in helping Thailand’s travel industry overcome several national crisis. During the 1992 political crisis, Jetour organised meetings for the Thai government to assure Hong Kong and Taiwan tour agents that it was safe to travel to Thailand. In the midst of the 1997 economic crisis, the company proposed the concept of creating a shopping street from Mabookkrong (MBK) department store to Chidlom in order to attract overseas shoppers and their much needed tourist dollars. Jetour also organised a special tour package for Hong Kong doctors and nurses during the SARS outbreak of 2003 to show prospective travellers that Thailand was still a safe destination.
Another source of great pride for Jetour is the continuing role that the company plays in environmental preservation. “One thing that differentiates us from a lot of other travel and tour companies is that we place a great emphasis on preserving Thailand’s natural environment,” says Jumroon Visavachaipan, Jetour’s Managing Director. “We do this for two reasons: Firstly, it is directly linked to our livelihood, so protecting the environment means protecting our business. Secondly, I think we owe future generations the opportunity to experience and enjoy Thailand’s many natural wonders. As a result, the company actively encourages all of our tour guides and customers, as well as the local people, to take good care of the environment.”