Labor day ( a public holiday in more than fifty countries, also in Thailand): the day after we arrived at the West side of Koh Chang. Coming to this part of the island felt like coming to a completely different area in comparison to what we’ve seen at the East Side. Anyway, everyone had to get acquainted with their chosen area along the West coast as this would be main area of our research for the upcoming 14 days.

On this day, our group’s challenge was to find an accommodation which offered a balance of certain criteria, such as low budget but still comfortable, appropriate space to work on our research but also enough areas to hang out and enjoy free time, being close by the sea while being not too far from the center of Lonely Beach. It sounds like a mission impossible to find such a place, right? Guess what, after actively searching for some time in the morning, Malena, Carole and Marcia managed to find our little paradisiac place to call home for the upcoming week.

The resort had everything we imagined and we thought how nice can doing research be while chilling in the hammock and drinking a freshly cut coconut? ( Of course we knew this imagination of the upcoming two weeks would be slightly too optimistic, but for slowly acclimatizing with the area and processing our introduction week it was more than enjoyable to have this setting). After having one or two more swims in the ocean in front of our doorstep, we sat together and discussed some organizational matters relating to our research in order to be prepared for the meeting with Harald and Peter.

This meeting was meant to kick-off our research by developing “Action Points”, in other words further steps we would undertake in order to get our research process rolling. Our main concern in this initial phase was to find people to interview about our value chain (midrange and luxury hotels and resorts) and finalize the instruments to collect data, such as the questionnaire and define relevant interview questions.

The meeting with Harald and Peter went well and it seems like rather unconsciously we pick up some Thai habits – instead of sitting at a table like our own culture taught us to, we sat on the floor… and it almost seemed normal

Written by: Kathrin