From piloting a Cessna across continents to leading VIP jets and Asian routes, Lucy Madjik, a visionary in Thailand tourism, transforms her journey with innovation and perseverance.
Everyone in Thailand's tourism knows it as synonymous with innovation and exploration; Luzi Matzig. Founder and CEO of VIP jets and the leader Asian tracks Trends welcomed host David Barrett on his private jet for the exclusive high-flying finale episode of Trends in 2023.
Captain Madjik's story is as compelling as the places he so passionately connects. From dreaming of owning his own jet to soaring across continents, he transforms his visions into reality. Buying a Cessna Citation airplane in the US, Matzik not only obtained his pilot's license in the US, but also flew the plane through Europe to Thailand, turning his aviation hobby into a thriving business.
However, as with any audacious dream, challenges emerged. Matzig shared a moment of candid humor when his wife pointed out his extravagant spending on the plane, prompting a strategic change. He applied for business licenses to provide air ambulance services and air charters, primarily to Cambodian clients seeking quality medical treatment in Bangkok or Singapore.
The core of VIP Jets' market is Medivac, with around 80% of customers relying on the service for emergency medical evacuation to Thailand's state-of-the-art healthcare facilities. The remaining 20% of high-net-worth individuals travel for leisure or business. Matzig's smaller jet can accommodate four passengers, but for larger groups, VIP jets make larger flights seamless.
Luzi Matzig's impact on Thailand's tourism landscape was profound. Arriving in 1971 and disillusioned with his job at Swiss Air, 9.9.1999, a very favorable date for Thais, is a testament to his enduring commitment to exceptional travel experiences.
Matzig shares with us his top three destinations for tourism in 2024. Indonesia, with its myriad islands and Bali as its crown jewel, takes the lead. Thailand follows suit with its many beaches, with emerging beach destinations like Koh Yao Noi attracting travelers. Buoyed by Indian tourism, Vietnam completes all three.
As we delve into the secrets of his success, Matsik offers wisdom born of experience. Diligence, prompt response to business requests and intimate knowledge of the product are his cornerstones. He stresses the importance of on-the-ground inspection, insisting industry players not be at the table in Bangkok. Wake up. go out. Be proactive in acquiring quality tourism products.
In discussing the dynamics of inbound tourism, Matzig underscores the important role of professional tour guides. In his view, they are the face of the company, shaping guests' experiences and serving as lead ambassadors. He praised the guides in Myanmar as well as the Thai and Cambodian tour guides. With offices in Myanmar, Asian Trails has adapted to the tourism landscape, using its Myanmar office for data management amid a slump in tourism to the country.
Beyond the realms of planes and hotels, Matzig expresses his passion for big bikes. Three to four tours a year, traveling Europe and Asia, exemplify his love for adventure. From the Dolomite Mountains in Italy to the scenic trails of Cambodia and northern Laos, Madzig's exploration interests stretch beyond the skies.
As the interview ends, we get a glimpse of Luzi Matzig's camaraderie within the „Gugitallers,” the tourist industry's Swiss mafia that has been gathering for card games for four decades. With VIP jets and a warm invitation to explore more on Asian Trails, the curtain falls on an extraordinary journey with a man whose dreams reach the skies and shape the future of travel.
David Barrett is a MICE consultant, marketing strategist and digital video advocate. Founder of TPC Group, Fellow of the Institute of Place Management (MIMB) His motto is “Everyone has a story to tell. Tell me yours.”
David is a long-time resident of Bangkok, having lived in the Thai capital for over 32 years. He is recognized in the Thai tourism and hospitality industry for his passion for promoting Thailand, his love of Thai food and his creative approach to marketing.
David, 64, is a Briton in Bangkok. Born in St Helier, England, he returned to England during the Covid pandemic and set up home in Cornwall. After business as usual, David is back in Thailand. He is tasked with interviewing leaders and trendsetters in business, sustainability, arts and entertainment. You can watch his weekly conversations on the Trends YouTube channel.
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