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BluAnda dodges mass markets, backs quality tours

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: For a premium tour company in Phuket, the goal is providing superior services and beating the crowds of a developing mass- tourism market by delivering private experiences at the region’s most well-known destinations.

A newcomer to the Andaman island tour market, BluAnda walked onto the scene recognizing exactly that, and within three years has developed a strong client base through three Phuket offices and more than 200 employees.

“Before we started the business, we sat down and began thinking: how can we do everything better than everyone else?” said Phenpat Morakotwist, deputy managing director of BluAnda.

The answer was not necessarily finding new Andaman destinations for clients, but ensuring that the quality of the experiences at well-known locations were exceptional – postcard perfect, if possible.

“The first thing we decided to take care of was the boat,” Ms Phenpat said. “We didn’t opt for a typical speedboat, because the sea here is choppy, making travelling in a speedboat uncomfortable. We use a catamaran, which keeps the deck stable and makes the ride smooth.”

The catamarans used by the company have a capacity of 40 passengers. However, Ms Phenpat assured that the number of guests was capped at about 25.

“We do not cater to more than 20-25 people at a time, to give our guests the best experience they can get,” explained Ms Phenpat.

The next major hurdle that BlueAnda identified for tour operators was ensuring quality of service through highly-trained staff. Though only three years in, and having had their official grand opening this year, the company provides a three-year training program, which includes a variety of courses, including language classes and safety training.

“It’s not an easy process, and many of our employees quit, but the ones who stay are well prepared
to keep the customers happy,” said Ms Phenpat.

The third, and possibly the most important, element of the company’s strategy, is developing unique tour programs, a true challenge in a saturated market with a limited number of ‘must-see’ destinations, most of which are already overrun by tourists.

“It’s all about timing. Other companies go to popular spots together and tourists have to share them with the crowds,” Ms Phenpat explained.

“We choose a different time of day, giving our guests a private experience of these beautiful places. It’s a true way to relax and admire the incredible beauty of the area, a real paradise on earth.”

Ms Phenpat added that the company was not shaken by the recent changes in the tourism sector. Though the current climate is not one for growth, the company is prepared to weather the storm by relying on quality.

“For now our focus is on the promotion of the quality [experiences], which we already deliver,” Ms Phenpat said.

For more information: www.bluanda.com

Additional reporting by Maciek Klimowicz

 

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