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 November 2020...

Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.