BUFFALO Tours (Thailand) plans to open an office in Chiang Mai in June and in Phuket by year-end, as the Hanoi-based tour operator is anticipating improved performance from its Thai operations in its second year in the country.
Buffalo Tours (Thailand) general manager, Kenneth Jørgensen, said the company’s Thai operations had suffered due to the political crisis in the country between last March and May, with business achieving lower than expected results for 10 months of the year, and finishing with around 9,000 clients.
Despite a good first quarter so far this year, Buffalo Tours CEO, Tran Trong Kien, said the target for Buffalo Tours (Thailand) in 2011 had been kept conservative at 12,000 customers, which even then would make it the company’s second largest market after Vietnam.
Even though Tran admitted in hindsight that opening a business in Thailand last year had been “a risk in extreme”, Buffalo’s Thai operations are still being expanded in line with the company’s strategy to become a destination expert in terms of product offerings. “It sends a message to the industry that we are committed to Thailand,” he added.
Buffalo Tours also has operations in Cambodia and Laos.