The award was announced at the 2014 NTCC Business Awards presentation dinner at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, Bangkok, on Tuesday. Khiri Travel CEO and Founder, Willem Niemeijer, received the award for Khiri Travel, a tour operator. The company was founded in 1993 in Bangkok and now has 160 employees in seven countries. Khiri Travel Thailand, with offices in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, employs 45.
A panel of NTCC judges assessed the Best Tourism Company applications. Much of the judging criteria were based on sustainable and responsible best practices in the office and in the field with travelers.
The judges analyzed the Khiri Travel Thailand submission based on sustainability (people, profit, planet), HR development, the enhancement of Thai-Benelux relations, innovation, and the company’s business achievements.
Receiving the award on behalf of Khiri Travel, CEO Niemeijer said: “From its inception 20 years ago, Khiri Travel has made a strategic commitment to people, planet and profit. By measuring sustainability through third party external certification it becomes easier to manage this key element of our success. I think the judges appreciated that.”
Khiri Travel operates by a code of conduct that upholds green operations. As part of its STEP accreditation it carbon offsets its flight emissions. Khiri is also working towards Travelife certification (supported by ANVR and EU) and has a semi-independent charity arm, Khiri Reach, which supports eight projects in five countries.
Khiri Travel upholds ANVR tour leader accreditation and recently carried out guide training in Khao Sok in southern Thailand so that all tour operators, not just Khiri, can have access to well trained and informed guides in and around the national park.
Around 50% of Khiri Travel customers come from Benelux countries – Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Said Niemeijer: “Khiri Travel is grateful to the judges for recognizing that Khiri works hard to be a travel business that positively impacts the world in Thailand and beyond.”