By SIRIVISH TOOMGUM
THE NATION WEEKEND
Expedia Group is one of the world’s largest travel platforms.
Pimpawee, 40, is the director of market management at Expedia Group Thailand, overseeing the Expedia Group Lodging Partner Services (LPS). She is responsible for leading the LPS account management teams and sourcing lodging supplies in Thailand.
“Our goal is to help Thai hoteliers attract more global travellers from 75-plus countries through our powerful travel brands portfolios and equip them with the best-in-class tools and technologies, so they can be more competitive in the digital world,” she says.
She says that Expedia, as the world’s leading online travel agency, provides an innovative and powerful platform that has been proven to help hoteliers reach millions of travellers worldwide and reap the benefits from a set of its tools and technology. This is a critical factor that helps Expedia Group harness partnership with partners in Thailand.
“I think that today, hoteliers in Thailand have a better understanding of the importance of being visible and bookable online,” Pimpawee says.
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve built a strong relationship with our partners, empowering them with the latest technology and tools to help them succeed. We strongly believe the platform, tools, and services we offer are competitive to cater partners’ needs.”
Pimpawee says that Expedia, together with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), is committed to playing a pivotal role in improving the digital literacy across Thailand’s hospitality sector and, ultimately, help generate more income for local economies.
Pimpawee, who has a background in engineering, was attracted to the travel industry because she was born and raised in Thailand, where tourism plays a major role in the economy.
“My combined background in engineering and an MBA (master of business administration) convinced me I should do more for the Thai tourism industry and here I am, together with my team, supporting hoteliers across the country to showcase their products and services to the travellers around the world,” she adds.
Pimpawee places great value on collaboration and diversity. She said that it is the teamwork and the collaboration that has got her to where she is now. She adds that she aims to make a difference and relentlessly strive for better outcomes in everything she does.
When asked if it is a challenge to work within this global organisation, she says she is proud to be a Thai female in a leadership position in such a prominent company.
“I have been with Expedia Group for 12 years and I must say this is a great company that values diversity and gender balance,” says.
“Gender discrimination has never been applied to me or those around me. I want to encourage women in the workforce to be vocal about the issues they are facing and seek support and mentoring sponsorships within the organisation. Plus, it’s critical to get male colleagues involved in advocating diversity and gender balance. There has been much research that shows that companies with a good gender balance obtain the best business results.”
Of the challenges that she faces in her work, Pimpawee singles out time – and the lack of it in her busy schedule.
“I feel I never have enough time to do everything I want to do,” she says. “Time management is vitally important to achieve success. I have learned that prioritisation and effective delegation are required. Being able to rely on a team and having teams to work together towards a goal is absolutely critical.”
Under her management style, she has encouraged her team to come up with a strong sense of project ownership. The overall success of the team must come from the collective work each team member contributes.
“I have high standards and believe in aiming to be better each and every day,” she says. “We foster a feedback culture where we help to provide feedback to one another, so that we can improve continuously.”
To this end, Expedia Group uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in its everyday business.
“Our interactions with the customer give us millions of data points that we can leverage to understand where customers’ intent is, and how best to assist them in their conversions,” Pimpawee says. “We harness the power of our global platform by analysing these millions of data points, wrap hoteliers with data-driven tools around them, and provide insights that matter for their businesses.”
Pimpawee believes that Expedia is now one of the first choices that come to people’s minds in Thailand when it comes to booking travel services – be it hotels, flights, local activities or packages. She herself does travel occasionally for leisure and, of course, uses Expedia to book her own trips. New York is her favourite destination.
“I love New York. Last time I went there was before I got married and had a son. I want to go back there again to see if it is still my favourite destination. I keep having a feeling that Australia could be our new family’s favourite destination,” she says.