Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Niemeijer

Willem Niemeijer

CEO, YAANA Ventures

Willem Niemeijer is the CEO of YAANA Ventures, an owner, partner and operator of entrepreneurial travel and hospitality ventures in Asia.

Through YAANA, Mr. Niemeijer builds brands that share real experiences that are grounded in the cultural richness of Asia. More importantly, he drives each venture to champion the triple bottom-line: to nurture the people with whom YAANA works, to sustain the planet we all share, and to pursue profits to expand YAANA's mission.

Mr. Niemeijer's passion for travel was born during a solo bicycle trip around The Netherlands at a young age. At age 17, he backpacked through Indonesia and his love for travel was added to a newfound love for Asia. In the late 1980s, he joined a Bangkok-based travel company and he added entrepreneurship to the convergence of travel and Asia as the driving forces in his career.

Mr. Niemeijer founded Khiri Travel at the end of 1993 with a vision of creating a travel company delivering Thailand and Indochina as "4 countries, 1 destination". He created Khiri Reach, Khiri Travel's dedicated foundation, which adopted twelve projects that aid underprivileged communities, promote animal welfare, protect local heritage and steward the environment.

In the late 1990s, to complement his travel business, Mr. Niemeijer founded a jungle lodge in a remote and breathtaking location in Southern Laos. Tad Fane Resort has since pioneered the development of tourism in the region. Over the following years, he expanded Khiri Travel into Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Maldives.

With Khiri Travel continuing to grow sustainably, Mr. Niemeijer turned his eye to transplanting the seeds of success he learned through growing Khiri Travel and Tad Fane Resort to the businesses that today form the core of YAANA Ventures: Anurak Community Lodge, GROUND Asia, Khiri Travel, Cardamom Tented Camp and HMP.

Please visit http://www.yaana-ventures.com for more information.

Mr. Niemeijer can be contacted at +66 966057520 or willem@yaana-ventures.com

Coming up in August 2020...

Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.