Death of a pioneer

ANDRE Horner, founder of one of Thailand’s first travel agencies, passed away last Friday in Bangkok after a brave battle with cancer.

The Swiss-born owner and managing director of Asian Tours Centre is survived by his wife, Chalita, and two children.

Horner first discovered Thailand as an intrepid backpacker, after which he decided to make it his home and established Asian Tours in 1967.

Recalled Basil McCall, former vice president sales & marketing of Amari Hotels & Resorts: “His knowledge of the tourism industry was unmatched, and the newsletters he sent out to colleagues and friends over decades must now form one of the richest records of Thailand’s tourism history. These monthly masterpieces blended subtle humour with informative, often hard-hitting comments about hotels, airlines and national tourist offices, including descriptions of the many colourful personalities who formed part of the whole.”

“Andre was as highly respected for his integrity and honesty as he was for his observations and critiques on tourism and travel. He was held in equally high esteem for his sincerity, for he never displayed the false affections and cosmetic greetings that are so much a part of the travel scene. He made friends slowly, but all those who shared in his friendship came to know him as a warm-hearted, generous and wonderful man, whose curiously grumpy exterior somehow made him more endearing.”

A funeral service will be held for Horner at 10:30 on Tuesday, February 28 at the Holy Redeemer Church in Soi Ruam Ruedee.

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