The Scandinavians are Coming Back

Danish “Tuk Tours” is one of the many smaller travel agencies in the famous seaside town of Hua Hin who has suffered from the political turmoil in Thailand. But now the tide has turned and the tourists are starting to come back.
“It’s a bit surprising but the coming high-season is starting to look better than last year. I did expect worse but it seems that people very quickly have forgotten what happened in Bangkok just a couple of months back”, says Martin Kaiser-Nielsen, the co-owner of Tuk Tours in Hua Hin.
It’s said that 10% of tourism related businesses in Thailand have closed down but months of political unrest  has not deterred the Scandinavians from coming to Thailand. As some tour operators in Denmark have reported their Thailand program being sold out for the coming high season, local travel businesses like Danish Tuk Tours seem to have overcome the crisis already.
“You get a bit used to the fact that no seasons are normal. Now we had the unrest and the riots. Before it was the airport closure in 2008. We had the coup back in 2006. Sars and birdflu earlier on and then the tsunami in 2004. It’s a setback every time but we are getting used it. So are the costumers fortunately”, says Martin Kaiser-Nielsen.  
Martin has been in Thailand long enough to see it all. Working as a guide for “Alletiders rejser” which is now called Kuoni he met Tuk who at that time worked for the Danish tour operator Ben Adisti. She became his thai teacher. They fell in love but it nearly ended in a big tragedy.  A serious taxi accident on their way from Hua Hin to Bangkok damaged Tuks back badly. Tuk has still not physically recovered 100% from the accident.
Martin and Tuk opened up Tuk Tours in Hua Hin in 2005. It’s situated in a quiet spot at Poonsuk Road in central Hua Hin. A very charming town house that could easily being mistaken for a café, as this is a place you wouldn’t mind to sit and relax for half an hour. Wooden chairs and tables on the verandah and you can actually get an espresso if you want. If you want to order more you could do it in English, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. Tuk would still be able to understand.   
“I would say 50% of our costumers are walk in costumers and 50% are from the internet. Around 15% are regulars coming back and back again. We handle most Scandinavians and we see quite a few senior backpackers who need a little help to organize their rather long holidays in Thailand”, says Martin who also manages to work as a tourguide for Albatros Travel.

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