ScandAsia 07 Maj 2004


Evolution Tours rejse i medierene gennem tiderne

The innovative Dane on the elephant island

The young Dane Brian Christensen has started his own tour agency, Evolution Tour, at Ko Chang. It focuses on quality for the mature travellers to the island – an island which has developed a lot in the last few years.

07 May 2004 | news Jesper Kiby Denborg

“Ko Chang has everything! Snorkelling and scuba diving, beautiful beaches, 50 islands nearby, waterfalls and national parks. My hope is just that the island will not develop into the dimensions Phuket has.”      The words are Brian Christensen’s, and he quickly adds:      “But I don’t think so. This island seems so small because of the mountains. There are only a few territories left, and you can’t build up the hillside.”      Brian Christensen started his tour agency Ko Chang Evolution Tour in November last year. It is not Ko Chang’s first tour agency, nor will it be the last, but Brian Christensen tries to make it different:      “Everybody does the same here. Sell cheap boat trips, but they forget to tell you that you have to sit on the truck body of a pick-up, and the boats are old fishing boats which are not designed for passengers. My trips are a bit more expensive, but I focus on quality. We use mini buses and speedboats, and the lunch is dined at a small restaurant, not on the boat. I want to offer the best I have seen and experienced and which have been successful elsewhere,” Brian Christensen tells.

     Despite his young age the 27 year-old Dane has already a lot of experience in the travel business. He started at the Danish Spies Guide School and was among 10 out of 130 who got job afterwards. The last five years he has worked for the Danish travel agency Alletiders Rejser – first in Europe and since 1999 in Thailand.      One year ago he planned to settle down in Denmark, and the next five months he stayed in Denmark, but without success.      “The education, I chose, was not good, and the weather in Denmark is so cold, so I decided to go abroad again,” Brian Christensen explains.

     Another reason is his Thai girlfriend Kai during three years, who is now expecting his child. Kai also works for Evolution Tour. Besides Brian and Kai, Evolution Tour has a third employee at the office and a freelance employee.      Despite the fact that Koh Chang is Thailand’s second biggest island after Phuket, it was until recently very quiet with mainly backpackers visiting the island.      But Prime Minister Thaksin has claimed Ko Chang – which means Elephant Island in Thai – to be the new holiday paradise for richer people, and the island has developed a lot in the last two-three years with new paved roads and many new luxurious resorts.      “Money talks. There are many soldiers of fortunes, and sometimes it is crazy what they try to do. Many Thais have no feeling of locations, so they open a shop for motorbike rentals two kilometres from the nearest hotel. Also some girl bars has popped up on the island. But the clientele here is not for girl bars, and they close after a few months. But then another pop up, and the other restaurants and shops in the neighbourhood have to close, because no one wants to pass the girl bar,” Brian Christensen tells.      Brian has himself felt the influence of the girl bars on his own business. Until recently his shop was located inside Ko Chang Plaza, but everything died out there after a girl bar opened. Now Evolution Tour has its shop just along the road a few meters from the original place.      Ko Chang is especially popular among Scandinavians, but now the Germans have discovered the island as well. Evolution Tour also has some Thai costumers, and most of them are 40 years old or older.      

The young Dane looks out at the road – more or less the only road at Ko Chang – which is pretty empty.     

 “The season here is really short. The Christmas was really busy, but we have almost no customers here in the summer. It has been really quiet since March. Instead I use the time to prepare for the next season and talk to sales agents. But in general I try to live in and enjoy the present as the Thais do instead of planning a lot that might and might not happen. The time runs so much faster, when you feel good,” Brian Christensen tells.