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 March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.