Local Alike, a social enterprise focused on community-based tourism (CBT) recently organized a series of capacity building workshops in four communities throughout Thailand.The seminars, sponsored by Thai Air Asia, included a Spirit of Hospitality workshop delivered by Assumption University Course Coordinator from the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Scott Michael Smith. Scott explains, “The spirit of hospitality is part of Thailand and one of the reasons I moved here many years ago. The Spirit of Hospitality workshop is designed specifically for the local communities, encouraging them to build on their natural skill set, identifying opportunities for improvement, striving for service excellence and creating memory making moments. Thanks to sponsor Thai Air Asia and Local Alike I was privileged to visit each community on two separate occasions in order to prepare a program to meet the specific needs of these remarkable communities in different stages of tourism development while sharing a common message to exceed expectations every time.” The communities that were the target for this CBT capacity building project included; Phrom lok, Nakorn si Thammarat, Koh Klang, Krabi, Kok Mueang, Buriram and Pha Mhee, Chiang Rai.
Local Alike is a social enterprise building an online platform to connect travelers and locals through meaningful experiences. Pai Somsak, Founder of Local Alike, says, “Ajarn Scott’s Spirit of Hospitality seminar inspired local communities to exceed customer expectations and raise the bar regarding service. It’s great seeing the local communities work together to identify opportunities to exceed visitor’s expectations and deliver memory making experiences throughout the guest experience. These vibrant communities that we are proud to work with have a better understanding of visitor expectations and will now create new opportunities to exceed expectations and strive for more than just guest satisfaction.”
The Spirit of Hospitality is part of a larger community-based tourism capacity building project. Local Alike has organized workshops such as Ajarn Scott’s Spirit of Hospitality workshops and a popular English skill development program that is delivered by a talented team of volunteers from Thai Air Asia. Local Alike creates and develops inventive travelling programs tailored to the customers’ needs, helping companies extend their CSR and employee programs into local Thai villages and aiming to connect like-minded travelers with activities, tours, and homestays listed by locals themselves, in addition to Local Alike curated programs. The Local Alike Development Fund was created to support and improve the quality of life in communities that they visit, and includes projects such as developing a waste management processes, and building playgrounds and museum foundations.