We at Easia Travel proudly introduce another member of our BOM, who, like Thuy Hoa, shared the idea about sharing Southeast Asia with the world, and whose values make us who we are today: Philippe Richard. Philippe ended up meeting Thuy Hoa while he was working in (and falling in love with) Hanoi, and was united by shared passions and a sense of loyalty and respect – both for clients and the locals they developed relationships within their tourism positions. Looking to expand his horizons and use his ample experience in tourism, he set off to Hanoi for a new adventure, soon on his way to creating the DMC you see today.
Philippe believes in the productive power of diverse and even competing for visions, and employs this philosophy to constantly improve and innovate within Easia Travel: “The care and time we spend finding and creating our own resources sets us apart [from other DMCs].” Philippe asserts that it’s our respectful treatment of the “raw ingredients” available to all DMCs – homestays, cycling tours, guides – that sets us apart creatively and ethically. Corporate responsibility and responsible tourism are at the forefront of these sentiments, and Philippe, looking to the future, asserts that “sustainability is not a choice…it will be a reality to continue to exist in this industry.”
Making exploring Asia easy
From the very beginning, Philippe knew that there were a few elements needed for Easia Travel to become great, the most important of which is making Asia easy for any client– hence the “E” in “Easia!” However, their first slogan, which still informs his values today, was “rencontre au bout de l’horizon” or “meeting people over the horizon;” he asserts that travel is about “staying local” (or staying like a local) and connecting with people. This value, he says, will always be a guiding force for the company, and that this ethos helps us show that tourism can, in fact, be a global force for peace. For Philippe, we not only make clients’ jobs easier, but simply more personalized, giving travelers the chance to meet and understand those people over the horizon: “We are successful because clients love to work with us!” And they love to work with us because of Philippe’s fusion of ease and exoticism.
Human at the core
Philippe is extremely proud of the diversity throughout Easia, and considers it key to our continued success: “If you don’t have the great human teams, the great spirit inside the company, you can’t build anything.” Philippe is deeply committed not only to creating an outstanding DMC, but a work environment that reflects our core values – ones which the staff themselves actually devised and enriched because of our diverse views. He sought to build not just a workforce, but a ‘community of staff that could match with our values:’ “We asked every employee, every Easian, what [our] core values are all about…and they really had to think…but what makes us happy is that we [the BOM and the rest of the company] have the same visions!”
(Philippe – Standing in the middle)
These human values are tricky to quantify, but Philippe sums it up as follows: “You can stay in the best hotels or most beautiful brands but what you will really remember from a trip is the way you connected with people, and this is what was always really essential.” Philippe’s vision was, indeed, already extending into the future when thinking of Easia Travel’s name; he says the “E” stands not just for “easy,” but was looking forward to the digital future of travel: “the dimension of technology that is associated to this ‘E’ is still valid and it is important and it is something in which we are investing a lot.”
To the future
A focus on the future has and continues to be a source of great strength, but also provides new and exciting challenges for us, and Philippe sees these as excellent opportunities. With technology advancing so rapidly, he envisions our future as combining the immediacy and seamlessness of innovations in tourism technology with our focus on the simplicity of truly authentic travel experiences.
As we move forward, Philippe is confident that our values will be a driving force for responsible innovation, cultivating the utmost respect for our local partners, clients, travelers, and, of course, our own Easians: “As a DMC we naturally differentiate ourselves; it’s personalizing the services according to the philosophy of travel of our clients. We are like a restaurant, as a chef, rather, and we all have the same ingredients, the same fish, the same herbs, but our strength is the way we choose these ingredients, the way we source our partners…It’s difficult to say if we are different from this, this or that, but we have our way that’s unique, and this is what makes us very special, and our ambition is to make it so personal with our clients that they would miss us!”.