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Sky High Dreams and Big Bike Adventures: Blazing New Trails with Luzi Matzig

Luzi Matzig, a visionary in Thai tourism, shares his journey from piloting a Cessna across continents to leading VIP Jets and Asian Trails, reshaping travel with innovation and persistence.

Everyone in Thailand’s tourism knows a name that is synonymous with innovation and exploration; Luzi Matzig. The trailblazing Founder and CEO of VIP Jets and Chairman of Asian Trails welcomed Trends host David Barrett aboard his private jet for an exclusive high flying final episode of Trends in 2023.

Captain Matzig’s story is as compelling as the destinations he so passionately connects. From dreaming of owning his own jet to soaring across continents, he transforms his visions into reality. Purchasing a Cessna Citation plane in the USA, Matzig not only attained his pilot’s license in America but also flew the plane back to Thailand via Europe, 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 shift. He applied for commercial licenses to offer Air Ambulance services and air charters, primarily catering to Cambodian clients seeking quality medical treatment in Bangkok or Singapore.

The core of VIP Jets’ market is Medivac, with around 80% of clients relying on the service for urgent medical evacuation to Thailand’s sophisticated healthcare facilities. The remaining 20% comprises high net worth individuals embarking on leisure or business travel. Matzig’s small jet can accommodate four passengers, but for larger groups, VIP Jets seamlessly facilitates larger planes.

Luzi Matzig’s impact on Thailand’s tourism landscape is profound. Arriving in 1971, disillusioned with his stint at Swiss Air, he has 9.9 9, 1999, a very auspicious date for the Thais, stands as a testament to his enduring commitment to exceptional travel experiences.

Matzig shared with us his top three destinations for tourism in 2024. Indonesia, with its myriad islands and Bali as the jewel, takes the lead. Thailand with it’s many beaches follows suit, with emerging beach destinations like Koh Yao Noi captivating travellers. Vietnam, buoyed by Indian tourism, completes the trio.

As we delve into the secrets of his success, Matzig imparts wisdom born from experience. Persistence, immediate response to business requests, and an intimate knowledge of the product are his cornerstones. He emphasizes the importance of on-the-ground exploration, urging industry players not to be desk-bound in Bangkok. Get up. Get out. And get active in sourcing quality tourism products.

In discussing the dynamics of inbound tourism, Matzig underscores the pivotal role of professional tour guides. In his eyes, they are the face of the company, crafting guests’ experiences and serving as the frontline ambassadors. He commended the guides in Myanmar as being the best, along with Thai and Cambodia tour guides. With offices in Myanmar, Asian Trails has adapted to the tourism landscape, utilizing its Myanmar office for data management amid the drop in tourism to the country.

Beyond the realms of planes and hotels, Matzig reveals his passion for big bikes. Three to four tours a year, traversing Europe and Asia, exemplify his love for adventure. From the Dolomite Mountains in Italy to the scenic routes of Cambodia and Northern Laos, Matzig’s zest for exploration extends beyond the skies.

As the interview concludes, we catch a glimpse of Luzi Matzig’s camaraderie within the “Gugitallers,” the Swiss Mafia of the tourism industry, who have been convening for card games for four decades. With a warm invitation to explore more about VIP Jets and Asian Trails, the curtain falls on an extraordinary journey with a man whose sky-high dreams continue to shape the future of travel.

For more information on VIP Jets, visit vip-jets.net.
Contact Asian Trails via asiantrails.travel.

Managing Director - DBC Asia | + Articles

David Barrett is a MICE Consultant, Marketing Strategist and digital video advocate. Founder of DBC Group, Member of Institute of Place Management (MIMP) his motto is “Everybody has a story to tell. Let me tell yours.”

David is a long-term resident of Bangkok having lived and worked in the Thai capital for more than 32 years. He is recognised in the Thai tourism and hospitality industry for his passion for promoting Thailand, his love of Thai food, and his creative approach to marketing.

64 years young, David is a Brit in Bangkok. Born in St Helier, UK, he returned to the UK and set up home in Cornwall during the COVID pandemic. With business back as usual, David has returned to Thailand. He’s a man on a mission to interview leaders and trend-setters in business, sustainability, the arts and entertainment. You can watch his weekly conversations on Trends YouTube channel.

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