BANGKOK, 1 October 2018: A major overhaul and restructuring of Tour East Thailand resulted in some top and mid-level staff leaving the company effective end of September.
It is understood that Tour East Thailand’s general manager, Massy Mittakarin, retired after leading the Thai company as its GM since 2002.
Founder and former major shareholder, Prasert Isvarphornchai, who relinquished all his shares in the company earlier this year to Tour East Holdings, controlled by major shareholder JTB, hired Massy when he established the company in 1972.
Massy has not made any announcements on her future, although a reliable source at Tour East’s regional office said the company understood she has taken the “opportunity to retire.”
Efforts to reach Massy for a comment on her future plans failed to gain a response.
Commenting on reports that other managers were leaving a Tour East source told TTR Weekly “regrettably a small number of the team decided that the new direction and related requirements within the business was no longer for them.”
It is understood the “new direction” involving a full business review has been concluded and resulted in a major overhaul of processes and systems. It also involved an investment in major office re-modelling to prepare for a planned expansion.
Tour East did confirmed that the Thailand company would expand its role to become a “commercial hub for the group and would shortly “welcome several new members who have joined the team from various DMC organisations in the region”.
The hub status for Tour East Thailand includes a lead role in procurement for the group, product, marketing, business development and MICE departments.
Tour East Thailand’s online trade business department director, Nick Critelli, posted on his Facebook page 19 September “left job at Tour East”. The post also had a back reference noting he had joined the company in November 2010.
It understand that possibly five other staff have departed, but in a short response to TTR Weekly, Tour East said a full announcement would be made “later this week” to confirm staff changes as well as provide more details on the Thailand company’s new role as a commercial hub in Bangkok.
Last June, Tour East Holdings acquired the 51% stake in Tour East Thailand that was held by the company’s founder, Prasert Isvarphornchai.
Prior to that acquisition, Holiday Tours and Travel, the major shareholder in the Tour East network across Asia, sold its stake to JTB for USD18.2 million in 2014.
Based on that investment the newly formed Tour East Holdings, owned by JTB, acquired a 49% share of Tour East Thailand, while Prasert continued to hold 51% stake until June this year when he relinquished the remaining shares in Tour East Holdings.
Prasert founded the Thai company under the Tour East brand in 1972. Today, Tour East Thailand handles around 100,000 holiday packages annually.
After Prasert’s departure, Tour East Holdings Ltd CEO & president, Shigeyuki Suzuki, was identified as managing director of Tour East Thailand (TET).
The Asia-wide company at the time said the Tour East Holdings CEO would spearhead a major restructure and re-engineering of the business including establishing it as a regional hub for group product development, procurement, marketing and MICE market development.
JTB Thailand continues to operate separately in Thailand despite the Japanese parent company’s controlling in Tour East Holdings.
Tour East Thailand continues to have its main office in the Charn Issara Tower, Bangkok, while operating branches in Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Samui, Chiang Mai and Krabi.