How These Entrepreneurs are Changing the Way Travelers Experience Thailand

TakeMeTour
TakeMeTour founders Nop (left) and Taro. Photo courtesy of TakeMeTour

As one of Thailand’s rising travel companies, TakeMeTour dreams of bridging the divide between technology and tourism in one of Asia’s most popular destinations where more than 29 million foreigners traveled in 2015.

Their website aggregates day trips organized by local experts into a collection of tours in Thailand, allowing travelers to see the country from a different perspective while trying out Muay Thai or local delicacies.

The online business of day tours and activities seems to be the next boom town in the travel industry. It’s not hard to imagine why: you book your flights and rooms ahead of the trip but only think of the things you should do in the destination at the last minute.

Day tours are also sold online by other travel companies such as TripAdvisor’s Viator and GetYourGuide, but TakeMeTour’s edge is its dedication on Thailand, giving it the network and therefore wide product portfolio to sell.

Aien and I catch up with the two founders of TakeMeTour last week to talk about the business. Here is an excerpt of our chat with Amornched Jindaz-apiraksa (Taro) and Noppon Anukunwithaya (Nop):

 

How did www.takemetour.com begin?

Both of us are big fans of traveling. When we travel, we usually ask around if any of our friends or relatives live in the city we are going to visit. So they can show us around to see something not touristy and really local. TakeMeTour started with the same concept. However, we think not everyone has a friend in every city, so we built a marketplace that connects travelers who love to get a unique and authentic experience while traveling to a local expert, who are people who live there. Both parties can meet and enjoy traveling.

 

Why focus on 1-day tours instead of overnight tours? Do you think this is a trend among budget and millennial travelers?

Internet and mobile penetration rates increase at a very fast speed. We see the trend that people are going to travel on their own more and more as in reserve their own flight, book their own accommodation and transportation. Therefore if you look around, people don’t really buy a 3D2N tour or multiple overnight tours any more since they can visit many places on their own. However in the developing country where you don’t speak their language — and locals don’t really speak English well — it’s quite tricky for you to get the real local touch on your own. We see the need here and we believe people will buy a day tour to complete their vacation as this is the best way on a budget to get the real authenticity of the place you are visiting. This is definitely a new, rising trend now.

800px-bridge_over_river_kwai
The historic Death Railway in Kanchanaburi. Nop and Taro predict Kanchanaburi is going to be a popular destination for Filipinos traveling in Thailand. Credits to WikiMedia Commons/User:Mjanich

We’ve always thought Muay Thai is a popular sport in Thailand especially Bangkok, but you mentioned it’s not as widely practiced as I imagined. What other misconceptions about Thailand do your customers usually have?

We do love Muay Thai and many of us like to watch Muay Thai. People might think we are a Muay Thai nation like Brazil for football, but the truth is only a handful of Thais really practice Muay Thai as a sport.

The same goes with our famous dish, Tom Yum Kung. Although it’s delicious and we all love to eat, we don’t really eat Tom Yum Kung everyday since we have many other delicious dishes like Som Tum, Pad Thai, Pad Kra Pow, and Lard Naar to enjoy. Note that Thais usually don’t like to eat the same dish over and over. When we have no idea what to eat, we order Pad Kra Pow, unfortunately not TomYum Kung.

Lastly, I’d like to make a clear statement that we don’t have a pet elephant at home and majority of Thais never ever ride an elephant.

 

Name 3 emerging destinations in Thailand that Filipinos can look forward to in 2016.

Kanchanaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan especially Hua Hin, and Saraburi. (Hint: You can find the awesome trips in these cities at TakeMeTour.)

 

Find out more about TakeMeTour by visiting their website here. Happy traveling!

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