Have you ever paused to consider the transformative power of travel? It’s not just about visiting new places; it’s about the profound impact it can have on individuals and societies alike. World Tourism Day, an annual celebration, shines a spotlight on this very idea. It’s a day when we acknowledge the far-reaching influence of tourism on global economies, cultures, and sustainable development, reminding us that travel is more than an adventure; it’s a force for positive change.
In the spirit of Tourism Day, we welcome you to join us on an exploration as we engage in an exclusive interview with MakeYourAsia, a company deeply passionate about uncovering the splendor of Southeast Asia and sharing it with the world. As a dedicated member of the W community, MakeYourAsia is committed to delivering exceptional travel experiences and promoting cultural enrichment.
MakeYourAsia: A Journey into Southeast Asia’s Beauty
The story of MakeYourAsia started in 2016 when a team of travel experts in awe of Asia’s beauty recognized this region’s immense potential. With over 7 years of experience, they excel in curating premium private and incentive trips. By optimizing flexibility and creativity in customizing travel programs, they are passionate about sharing Southeast Asia’s rich cultural heritage and timeless natural beauty with the world.
World Tourism Day, celebrated annually on September 27th, holds global significance as it underscores the immense value of tourism. This momentous event finds its roots in the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which established it to shed light on tourism’s pivotal role in fostering sustainable economic growth, cultural exchange, and global understanding.
This year, on the special occasion of World Tourism Day, we have the privilege of having Lukasz Kozlowski, the CEO of MakeYourAsia, providing insightful responses to our questions, enriching our celebration with a unique perspective on the tourism industry. In the following sections, we’ll share the valuable insights we gained by asking three intriguing interview questions with him.
Can you tell us about your journey in the tourism industry and how your business has evolved over the years?
“My passion for tourism started over 15 years ago, when I was discovering and guiding my friends in my lovely hometown – Poznan, Poland. However, my journey with tourism industry in Southeast Asia didn’t start until 8 years ago, when I moved to Vietnam and began working as a tour designer and tour leader. At the time, I saw the opportunity to bring a new standard of experience to Southeast Asia. So, we founded a small company with the goal of discovering the most breathtaking sceneries and showcasing the cultural diversity, culinary wonders, and most importantly, the amazing people in Vietnam, Malaysia, or the Philippines.
Over the past years, our team has grown and we have started to train our own guides. We have had the pleasure of showing Southeast Asia to thousands of people and survived the difficult COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism sector in the region is changing for the better. The quality of service is improving, and the pandemic has given the industry a chance to restart and reinvent itself.”
In your opinion, what are the key trends or changes you’ve observed in Vietnam’s tourism sector recently, and how have you adapted your business to stay relevant?
“Vietnam is an extremely dynamic market with huge potential. A few years ago, Vietnam was considered as a backpacker’s destination, offering cheap travel experiences for one-time travel. Today, Vietnam has seen significant investment in luxury resorts, better infrastructure, airports, and hotels, making many locations accessible to tourists. Plus, the number of tourists visiting Vietnam is also growing. Of course, with this growth come environmental problems such as pollution and waste management. Vietnam still needs to work more to address these issues.
The main trend in Vietnam’s tourism industry that I’ve observed recently is a shift towards becoming a more premium destination. We’re not talking only about luxurious experiences, but also more sustainable and environmentally friendly options. Vietnam wants to become a country that tourists can visit, revisit and rediscover many times. The country still has a long way to go to reach this point, compared to the percentage of travelers coming back to places such as Thailand. However, the government and private sector are working together to achieve this goal.
At MakeYourAsia, we are also committed to be a bit ahead of the rest of the industry. We strive to bring people to less popular places where we see potential. We are also implementing a lot of eco-solutions in our company, while others are still discussing them.”
As we celebrate World Tourism Day, could you share a memorable experience or a destination that holds a special place in your heart, and why it’s significant?
“Choosing only one is always difficult so I will have to specify. If we’re talking only about Vietnam, Sapa has a special place in my heart for so many reasons. It is a beautiful mountain town with stunning rice terraces and ethnic minority communities. We have a lot of friends there, they’re from local families living not in the town of Sapa but in the local villages in the valley. I love the mountains, and Sapa simply has the breathtaking landscapes that bring you out of the crowds and stress of busy cities. The rice terraces are especially beautiful when they are green,
and I can spend hours admiring the views. I highly recommend this destination to anyone looking for a relaxing and culturally enriching experience in Vietnam, as the town is home to a number of ethnic minority groups, such as the Hmong, Dao, and Tay, which you can’t normally find in bigger cities like Hanoi or Saigon.”
Our interview with MakeYourAsia, a sustainable tourism operator in Vietnam, highlights the importance of celebrating World Tourism Day. This day is not just about tourism; it’s about responsible travel, cultural exchange, and sustainable exploration. MakeYourAsia’s journey in the tourism industry reflects the notable advancements and improvements occurring in Vietnam’s tourism sector, which is increasingly embracing sustainable practices. MakeYourAsia is not only adapting to these positive changes but also leading the way by promoting sustainable and eco-friendly travel options, such as:
- Community-based tours in places such as Mekong Delta that support the local economy and minimize environmental impact.
- Eco-treks in Sapa that educate travelers on sustainable travel practices and encourage them to be responsible tourists.
- Use of sustainable transportation options, such as electric vehicles, public transport, and bicycles, as a part of the experience.
Minimizing tourist footprint by avoiding plastic products and switching to more environmentally friendly alternatives.
MakeYourAsia is an example of how the tourism industry in Vietnam is becoming more sustainable and responsible. By celebrating World Tourism Day, we can raise awareness of the importance of sustainable travel and encourage travelers to travel responsibly.
As we celebrate World Tourism Day, let’s remember that travel has the power to transform us and our world. It’s a reminder that, by exploring new horizons and embracing different cultures, we can create a more connected and harmonious planet. MakeYourAsia embodies this spirit, inviting travelers to discover the wonders of Southeast Asia while leaving a positive impact. Join us in celebrating World Tourism Day and embark on a journey with MakeYourAsia to explore the beauty, culture, and sustainability of this incredible region. 🌏✈️
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