Exclusive Interview – Edouard George – President – Phoenix Voyages
The healthy growth of tourism in Southeast Asia is due to a number of factors. But one of the keys is in having reliable receptive operators. An excellent example is Phoenix Voyages – run by a jovial Frenchman, Edouard George; a key player in the local market with a long background in the tourism and hospitality industries. We asked him what his company’s focus is this year.
We are focusing this year very much on our complete presence in the Indo- China Peninsula: Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar, and we are developing combined cross-country and regional tours, allowing visitors to go to anything up to five countries. The authorities are facilitating visa procedures, and regional airlines are expanding their new cross-country routes. Cross border tourism is very much on the rise. In each country, we have also developed six types of “theme” tours. The first is based on the architecture and colonial presence in the regions, second is a culinary tour, third is art and crafts, fourth is nature – with walks every day to discover the natural wonders of the region, fifth is wellness, with a great focus on yoga, tai chi, qui gong, etc., and mixing with the local people… and the last is religion and spiritualism.
Also, in January 2018 we have the third edition of the Angkor Ultra-Trail, on the archaeological sites of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The new routes, crossing varied numerous temples and villages, from narrow paths through dense vegetation, jungle, rice fields (sometimes with water up to the knee) and sandy tracks, already spiced up the 2nd edition of the Angkor Ultra Trail, and the testimonies we received after this race inspired us to continue.
Meanwhile, “the Land of the Morning Calm”, more commonly known as South Korea is still untouched by mass tourism and offers varied landscapes, plains and mountains. The country offers a unique atmosphere blending ancient traditions and unbridled modernity.
Where are you mainly selling product?
Our main clients are from Europe and North America, with around a third French speaking, a third Spanish speaking and a third English speaking.
What sets you apart from other operators?
Consistency is a strong point. We also concentrate on quality, so while we may not be the cheapest, we pay a lot of attention to quality, and thanks to this we had 97.6% satisfied clients in 2016.
Photos: Edouard George President, Phoenix Voyages | Angkor Ultra-Trail, Siem Reap, Cambodia