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 December 2019...

Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.