#WomenOfTnl: This International Women’s Week, we look at inspiring women personalities from the travel and hospitality segment, each of whom has surged past gender-based prejudice to level the gameplay in their respective fields, and create a ripple-effect among female professionals to follow. As women increasingly take the plunge to travel in 2021, these strong personalities lead the way with inspiring narratives, thoughts, and more. Pinki Arora, Marketing Representative (North & East India, Bangladesh, & Nepal), Thailand Tourism is one such forerunner. By Team T+L
1. How do you think travelling will shape up in 2021?
In 2021, travellers will look for exclusive, uncrowded, and lesser-known destinations to visit. Offbeat experiences—including learning about sustainable tourism and local cultures; appreciating nature; exploring adventure-based, and wellness offerings—will gain popularity, as travellers will increasingly look for rejuvenating holidays. Of course, the top priority will be factoring in safety and hygiene measures taken by the destination and accommodations they choose to stay in.
2. What motivated you to choose this career path?
My love for Thailand! Since I am born and brought up in Thailand, I am fluent in the language, too. Plus, I was already in the travel trade industry while in Thailand. I chose this career as I wanted to remain in touch with the country. Having an inherent knowledge of the destination and its culture on one end, paired with a similar understanding of India on the other, became an added strength; and, hence, an obvious career choice. In fact, I think of it as a passion to promote Thailand, not a profession.
3. Did you ever face challenges in this industry?
Surprisingly, I’ve never faced any challenges as a woman. On the contrary, people in the industry are very helpful and have helped make things comfortable for me.
4. 2020 brought a huge setback to our industry. According to you, what kept people motivated to bounce back?
The travel industry is known to bounce back from any setback faster and stronger than others. After the lockdown with most people working from home, people now have a strong desire to travel once again. For many, travel has become a necessity. The moment domestic travel restarted, and some international borders reopened, people started to travel again. They’re waiting for other countries to follow, especially Thailand. The travel industry is known to strive towards offering memorable experiences. On the other hand, the hospitality sector is recognised for its intentions of spreading happiness and giving people a chance to unwind or celebrate with family and friends.
5. Women in travel and hospitality in 2021—what are your thoughts on this?
Both travel and hospitality are suited to women. Women tend to be more pleasant, hardworking and dedicated. No wonder, then, we constitute a major portion of the workforce in the tourism industry!
6. You’ve visited many places. Tell us about a hidden gem you discovered.
Although I have travelled to many countries, Koh Samui in Thailand is my favourite place for a holiday. It is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever been to—be it with respect to food, resorts, hotels, hospitality or even scenic beauty.
7. A place in Thailand that you wish people knew more about?
I would like to recommend Khao Yai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to Indian travellers. A three hours’ drive from Bangkok, this year-round getaway destination is blessed with a lush, mountainous landscape, complete with fertile valleys, pounding waterfalls, and rich biodiversity. From cowboy theme parks to mountain-hugged vineyards and Khao Yai National Park’s endless green carpets, Khao Yai serves as an ideal place to escape from ordinary everyday life.
8. Top three places in Thailand female travellers must visit?
Bangkok, for its great nightlife and shopping options; Koh Samui, for its luxurious spas and pristine beaches; and Chiang Mai, for its rich Lanna culture and offbeat activities.
9. Your tips for solo women travellers?
Thailand is a very safe place for women travellers. Thai people are extremely warm, hospitable and helpful. However, they may not be fluent in English, so it is advisable for female travellers to carry maps and instal language translation apps on their mobile phones.
10. Top places for solo women wanderers in Thailand?
Thailand is a great destination for solo women travellers, as well as all-women groups. This is because the country offers a variety of activities and attractions for lady travellers. For example, luxury malls and street-shopping options; Benjarong painting experiences; fruit-carving and cooking classes; flower arrangement workshops; world-class spas and beauty salons; and dinner cruises and yacht parties…Thailand is a perfect getaway for ladies to pamper themselves! For adventurous lady travellers, Thailand offers activities like scuba diving, Muay Thai training, golf, and more. Above all, safety for women, warm Thai hospitality and helpful locals make Thailand a preferred choice for women wanderers.