Travel Projects was founded by Anita Sach who is still living her dream by working in tourism, something she knew she wanted to do as a young girl, even before she had been on her first overseas visit. Initially she worked for an inbound travel company in London, arranging tours of the UK for the American market. This early experience developed Anita’s attention to detail, as she was ever mindful of the consequences of even one small error in the itinerary.
This approach to work was severely challenged when she joined Regent Holidays, a company that, at the time, specialised in Communist destinations. The nature of these destinations in the 1980s meant that her natural inclination to want to micro-manage an itinerary was thwarted as Regent knew where their clients were likely to visit, but not the actual itinerary or in which hotels they would stay!
Anita spent 10 years travelling to some of the most intriguing destinations in the world, at a time where many only saw a few hundred visitors each year – Albania, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Laos, the Soviet Union and Vietnam. Her tales of being one of only 14 tourists in Cambodia, showering using a teapot in the best hotel in Luang Prabang, making Swissair delay a flight to ensure her group could get to Albania and facing up to her fear of rats in Vietnam only scratch the surface . As a tour leader she travelled with some of the most interesting people, each with their own story to tell.
Moving to live and work in Saigon in Vietnam in the mid-1990s was her next adventure. Here Anita managed an inbound travel company when tourism to the country was in its infancy. Vietnam had got under her skin in the late 1980s and this opportunity allowed her to explore the country, which she now calls her second home, as part of her job and proudly show it off to the travel companies that were interested in adding Vietnam to their portfolio.
Anita returned to the UK in 1996 and set up Travel Projects to support travel companies developing tour programmes to Indochina and lead tour groups to Vietnam, Cambodia and China. Her reputation in those heady days led to her being invited by publishers to work on guide books to Vietnam, write the Bradt Guide to Cambodia and be a guest speaker at an event at the Royal Geographical Society. The arrival of the internet opened up opportunities to write several website guides. This was just the beginning of her next adventure, which continues to this day…