The price you pay for your holiday includes everything you would expect in a tailor-made holiday - all ground arrangements such as hotels, touring, the cost of your guides, transportation in comfortable, high quality vehicles, entry fees, domestic flights, trains and boats and some of your meals. It may also include the cost of your international flights - if you’ve asked us to arrange those for you - as well as plenty of those little extra touches that make it a Selective trip.
But booking a Selective Asia holiday gives you much more than that….
Though we’re attentive and always strive to be quick with our communications, when it comes to planning travel we never rush. We want you to enjoy this part of the process - it's one of our core values. Like a really good ramen broth, creating our style of holidays takes time and experience. Whilst we can also handle (relatively) last minute requests, it always pays to contact us further in advance.
Our expert UK based team of Asia destination and travel planning specialists have many years of experience creating intricate, bespoke holidays. They're well-travelled, especially in Asia, and have put years into understanding what will work well on your journey. They know how important it is to learn what makes you tick so they can handpick your ideal elements and set your perfect pace.
We've spent many years laying foundations and forming strong partnerships across Asia. In each of our destinations, we have a local team working tirelessly behind the scenes who we trust and depend on to make your holiday go swimmingly. They're our links to the local community networks that are key to keeping our trips responsible and sustainable. They'll be on hand whenever you need them while you're away.
When it comes to local assistance, we don’t work with the ‘cheapest on the day’ options, as this cannot ensure a great experience for you. Instead, we nurture and maintain our long-standing relationships with our colleagues, representatives and partners on the ground who have an instinctive understanding of what makes a Selective Asia holiday so special.
Despite every diligence, things do go wrong on occasion for a variety of reasons. Airlines change schedules, extreme weather occurs unexpectedly, humans make errors... the list goes on. We know that time is of the essence. During UK opening hours we usually deal with any such occurrences ourselves. However, as the time difference with Asia is up to 9 hours, outside of these hours we ensure that our trusted local teams are available to you via a customer service number and a 24/7 emergency contact number for the more extreme cases.
Our UK-based team, and our colleagues and partners across Asia, have been there and done it for themselves. From a great deal of experience, we know just how easy it is to misinterpret the quality, scale, setting and contents of many things on the internet. Nothing replaces first hand experience and we make sure that we put in the hours to get it. Our destination specialists in the UK have not only travelled extensively, they have carried out numerous inspections of hotels, destinations, boats and restaurants - a tough job, we know! Because we cannot be in Asia all the time, our local colleagues and partners also undertake these inspections, and we value their judgments extremely highly.
The time, experience, creativity and expertise that goes into our bespoke travel planning service will never come at the lowest cost, and nor should it. Creating one-of-a-kind travel experiences is rewarding and challenging. Cutting corners is not in our nature; we want to invest time to make sure that your travel experiences bring each destination to life in the right way for you and everyone you encounter. We offer a fair price and are committed to offering a fair, sustainable wage to all, including our partners and guides. Value is a concept which finely balances cost with time, experience and enjoyment. It’s a balance we are committed to getting right.
The overall price of your holiday will depend on the hotels, experiences and journeys you choose, but the basic costs include investment in the training and retention of our expert guides, as well as constant assessment to ensure the quality of our offered experiences remains high and accurate.
We invest a considerable amount in improving our commitments to sustainability and ensuring that your footprint is lighter when you travel with us. This investment comes in many forms, including: mitigating your flight carbon; extensive research and auditing of properties, partners and operator partners; the provision of water bottles; training; site inspection; research and development; and coordinating with specialist bodies. It’s a refined and integrated process that we’re proud of, and will keep striving to improve. We’re also proud to go the extra mile to work with community enterprises such as Lone Buffalo in Laos and the Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia, as well as support many micro-enterprise such as family-run cooking experiences in Sulawesi.
We ensure that we pay our guides well above the average wage in each region, and well above the local ‘living’ wage, so our guides and partners are able to feel secure and recognised for the huge value their expertise provides. We pay for regular, high-quality training, and as a result our guides are up there with the very best in the business.
Selective Asia is proud to be an accredited B Corp company, and part of the deal is that we cannot rest on our laurels. B Corp will continue to hold us to account to ensure we don’t cut corners and that we follow through on our commitments, including those to offer fair and inclusive wages. We are highly motivated in these areas already, but it never hurts to have others holding us to account too.
All our clients are financially protected in the event of Selective Asia becoming insolvent. Whilst that’s not part of our plans, we recognise how important it is to protect your trust and investment in us. We are ATOL bonded and any non-bonded holidays are protected by our Trust my Travel bond and insurance policy. In short, we’ve got you covered.
Whilst we are confident in stating that you could not arrange a Selective Asia holiday without us - all the many minds and hours of planning, logistics, insider knowledge and customer service and support in the event that plans change - we like to be transparent, and we don’t like to underestimate your abilities of course. You likely could plan the similar looking framework of one of our bespoke trips for the same cost or even a little less.
However, as you will have read above, we offer the unique combination of our travels and experience in Asia, and of working with curious travellers such as yourselves (if you’ve read this far down the page you must be curious!), along with many years of networking and building strong relationships. We’ll be there to celebrate the successes of your travels, as well as pulling things together if something’s not right, and our expertise in arranging the nitty-gritty helps everything run smoothly. Creating memorable, bespoke travel that you can enjoy without the stress of extra admin is our job, and we’re very good at it.