Meet our Lead Travel Designer: Hoa Ly

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Hoa Ly may be quite new to the Easia Active team, having joined just over a year ago, but she’s brought extensive knowledge with over a decade of experience in sales in the travel industry. It’s her warm and friendly nature that make her especially charming, and no stranger to adventure travels of her own, she knows what experiences are best suited to active travelers from all over the world.

About Hoa Ly

After Hoa Ly graduated from high school in Ninh Binh, she moved to Hanoi to study foreign languages at university and mastered her English skills. She didn’t jump right into the travel industry, but spent the first few years after graduation teaching English. Soon she found herself using her language skills elsewhere, working for a travel company that specialized in leisure, but with a focus on active activities like kayaking, and motorbike and jeep tours in the northern mountainous areas of Vietnam. It was these activities that ignited her interest in adventure travel.

What followed were 13 years of extensive experience working for a big and reputable DMC in Southeast Asia, first as a consultant and then in online sales, and finally in the adventure department of the company, which strongly focused on cycling and trekking tours. But after that many years Hoa Ly was in the search for a new challenge, and found herself particularly curious about Easia Active. Happily for us she joined our team and has been a valuable contributor ever since!

It’s not just her experience in the adventure travel industry that made her a welcome member to the Active family, but her genuine passion for outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and kayaking. She regularly hikes in the northern mountain ranges of Vietnam, and prefers to cycle in the flatter regions in the center of the country. While she notes that trekking tours can be wonderfully challenging, cycling allows her to cover greater distances and explore even more of what a region, or entire country, has to offer.

The appeal of Southeast Asia for active travel

What makes Southeast Asia particularly suitable for active travel: the culture, the people. Hoa Ly says it’s as simple as that. She’s worked with clients from all over the world and knows just how beautiful other countries outside of Southeast Asia can be, but emphasizes that the cultures here are fascinatingly different, incredibly diverse, and that it’s hard to find friendlier people. In a fast-changing, modernizing world, Southeast Asia retains traditions and a wonderful warmth that make adventure travel here especially unique.

A changing market

She’s noticed a distinct shift in active travel trends here over the past 5 or so years. “There were more tours of the classic leisure type, and very few travelers sought out cycling tours. Trekking was already popular, but recently we’ve seen a lot more tour operators emerging that focus on cycling”. And as for why this change has come about? “I think it has a lot to do with the attitude of travelers these days and the growing phenomenon of over-tourism. Many visitors don’t just want to see the major landmarks that everyone flocks to, and are now searching to explore more off-the-beaten-track destinations.”

“Traveling has become easier and easier so people want to see something that’s different and not so mainstream. They want to experience true emotions and meet real people”, Hoa Ly adds. Cycling is one of the best ways to do that. In a world of over-digitization and globalization, travelers are searching for an escape from modern city life, for experiential travel that offers them the opportunity to learn, reconnect with nature and discover the unknown. Cycling, much like trekking, allows travelers to fulfill that in a slower, more intimate way, reaching places that might otherwise be difficult to navigate.

Hoa Ly sees an increasing number of leisure clients asking for easy but immersive tours that allow travelers to cover more of a country, and generally finds that requests come in for active yet slow-paced explorations of our destinations. There are fewer inquiries for hard-core adventures. Cycling tours achieve a perfect balance and can be adapted to any type of traveler.

Hoa Ly (far right) inspecting our e-bikes and routes in northern Laos

Laos for curious explorers

When asked which destination she would recommend travelers to visit in the near future, she suggests “Laos”. During her visits to Laos she was impressed with the pristine nature of its landscapes and the authentic hospitality of its people. “It’s a wonderful destination for those seeking something more remote and untouched – there are still very few tourists around and many unknown spots to discover. The people are also incredibly friendly, and that especially leaves a lasting impression. It makes travel in Laos really genuine and heart-warming, and that’s ultimately what we want our travelers to feel”.

Get in Touch!

Find out how we can extend your adventure offering in Southeast Asia, and take a glimpse at the hiking or cycling activities we can customize for your travelers on our sample product page.

Matteo Galeazzi

Easia Active Manager

Matteo not only has extensive academic background in tourism, but has also gained valuable insight while living and working in multiple destinations around the world. His energy and enthusiasm for active as well as sustainable travel are what make him a strong driving force within the Easia Active team.

Lindekin

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