SIEM REAP, 21 September, 2017: Journey Within Tour Company is handing over its Southeast Asian operations to local staff for them to own and manage.
The process starts in Cambodia with staff in the Siem Reap office taking control of operations rather than it continuing as a subsidiary of the US-based Journey Within Tour.
From humble beginnings that grew out of a small bed & breakfast enterprise in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2003, the US-based Journeys Within Tour Company has offices in Cambodia Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
Name by Travel + Leisure as one of the Top 10 Tour Operators in the World in 2017, Journeys Within Tour’s founder, Andrea Ross, said it departed from the usual business model in travel that is based on tour operators working with ground tour operators that have separate identities and owners.
“While I was living in Cambodia, we were working directly with the guides, drivers, hotel managers and other elements of the trip… we hadn’t found any companies in Southeast Asia that we felt had the same standards we did – a high level of service, customisation and a willingness to go above and beyond for every trip,” Ross explained.
Starting in 2003, Journeys Within Tour opened ground operations offices in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam in order to offer tours throughout the region, and mainly hired local staff to manage the offices.
In 2007, Journeys Within Tour opened its US office and Ross began spending most of her time stateside, with frequent trips to Southeast Asia to ensure the satellite offices were running smoothly.
Ross said. “It has been a wonderful adventure and I think it allowed Journeys Within to become what it is today – a global family dedicated to creating incredible trips. But now, as we look to the future, we realise it is time to evolve.”
That latest move spins off ownership of each country office to local staff, while the US-Tour firm will supply the bulk of the customers.
“In Southeast Asia, ownership is king and my teams deserve to own their own slice of the Journeys Within pie, ” Ross said.
With the handover of the ground operations businesses, Journeys Within Tour also hopes to start adding more destinations and tours beyond Southeast Asia in the future.