After a successful period of leadership, Stray Asia’s General Manager, Melissa Hutcheson, has handed over the leadership reins to Brett Hudson, the current General Manager of Stray New Zealand. From 1 April 2016, Hudson, better known in the tourism industry as ‘Taxi’, has stepped into the role as CEO of Stray, overseeing both the New Zealand and Southeast Asia arms of the business. His new title as ‘Boss of Making Stray More Awesome’ is fitting for the position.
Taxi, who has been involved in the management of Stray New Zealand for over nine years, started as one of Stray’s passionate Driver Guides. Having led Stray New Zealand’s operations and product development, Taxi not only has operational nous to deliver a quality hop-on hop-off service but also an in-depth understanding of what the next generation of adventure travellers want and expect from their travel experiences. Taxi is excited by the challenge ahead in translating his New Zealand tourism expertise into the Southeast Asia market. He will be supporting Stray Asia’s Regional Manager, Richard North, who is based out of Luang Prabang, Laos.
Hutcheson joined Stray in February 2015 and played an integral role in Stray’s expansion into Myanmar. Under her leadership, Stray Asia launched several new products into Myanmar, including the 10 day Pagoda Pass and Yangon Arrival Pack, with the intention of making adventure travel in Myanmar more accessible to the freestyle traveller. In addition to this, she helped Stray consolidate key industry partnerships and secure local operating agreements in what is considered a challenging environment for Western operators.
Stray Asia continues to show strong growth as it gains traction with global channels and youth markets. Since entering the Asia market in 2010, Stray’s hop-on hop-off flexible adventure network has expanded across five countries including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and most recently Myanmar. Travellers are choosing to ‘Stray’ Asia as it offers a safe and hassle free way to explore remote areas of Southeast Asia, meet great people and retain flexibility over their itinerary.