The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

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To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Cambodia’s new tourists / How Cambodia’s hospitality sector can cater to changing tourist trends

Photography by: Sam Jam - Posted on: April 29, 2018 | Special Reports

Charles-Henri Chevet, general manager at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeetra and area general manager of Phokeethra hotels, which manages five properties across Cambodia and Thailand, discusses up-skilling staff and how Cambodia’s thriving hospitality sector can adapt to the country’s changing face as a tourist destination

Charles-Henri Chevet, area general manager of Phokeethra Hotels Photo: Sam Jam

How has Cambodia changed as a tourism destination during your decade in the Kingdom, and how has the hospitality sector adapted to accommodate that?
The first thing is volume – in just a couple of years the number of visitors and the number of tourists in Cambodia has grown significantly. It’s not becoming a mass market, but if we talk about pure leisure, mainly in Siem Reap, it’s becoming more of a mass market than it was before. The nationalities have also changed – if we talk about pure leisure again, not investors, we’ve probably switched from a majority of visitors from the US and Europe, more on the high end, and we’ve moved to Asia.

And in that there is a big surge from China – definitely the country is very China-friendly in all aspects. We know also the ability of China to drive their tourists; the authorities in China have this ability to orient and influence tourist destinations, and Cambodia right now has a green light from the big agencies in China.

What are some of the challenges of recruiting and training a workforce of skilled staff in Cambodia?
For Cambodia it’s a challenge, but this is not only a challenge for Cambodia. You have destinations across the region that have emerged very quickly, and you have a number of hotels on offer that has boomed over the past ten years in an incredible, unbelievable way. There are so many hotels, so many restaurants that it’s difficult to cope with the number of qualified people you need.

In Cambodia, it’s the same situation. If you look at Siem Reap, the hotel boom has been just unbelievable. A generation of staff has already been trained and are qualified and skilled in this business, but today the issue is that so many hotels continue to arrive, we might still be short in terms of qualified people. Phnom Penh is in the same situation. The surge has been very impressive, but there is a difficulty that comes with that. If we put it into perspective, there just are not many schools preparing a new generation on that. There are some new ones arriving, which is very good, but overall those schools are training a limited number of people every year, which we understand – it takes time, and you need enough teachers to train them. And I believe that companies like us, international or even some local big hotel organisations are also good schools, because we train a lot of our people.

Instructing staff at the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Photo: Sam Jam

How can hotels in Cambodia anticipate and respond to changing industry trends?
Hotels like us are operating 24 hours – there are always staff at least at the reception. So the idea is that the hotel is becoming a point of regular life – you can collect your laundry, you can have a convenience store or other elements where we could run 24 hours. This is one of the doors-open angles currently happening in Europe. Actually in Phnom Penh in this hotel we already have an outside laundry service, we have a sports club which is not dedicated particularly to hotel guests, it’s more for outside customers, and of course our restaurants are open to whoever wants to come. A big part of our clientele in our restaurants are coming from outside – they’re not hotel guests.

What traits do you look for in your staff?
Speaking a foreign language, that’s number one. To start more generally, we look for attitude or personality. So you might have someone who has no experience and has not been trained but in our business it might be interesting to look at him or her because of their personality. In this hotel [Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra] we hire 400 people, so you have different needs, but in front of house or similar areas you are looking for personality first. We want people who are open, extremely reactive, understanding of what’s happening, anticipating. And having a great ability to talk, to entertain and to drive the business.

And after that, it’s the technical aspects. You can always train people. And people are learning because they want to – they know that it’s a condition of their success.

 This article was first published in Globe Media Asia’s Focus Cambodia 2018 magazine