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E-Mail: business@yaana-ventures.com

Telephone: +66 2591-5420

Fax: +66 2591-5422

Postal Address 33/2 Tiwanon Road 28
Tiwanon Road, Bangkasor
Nonthaburi 11000 Thailand

DMC Khiri Travel Announces Eight New Creative Exploration Itineraries in Asia for Product Managers

New creative itineraries by Khiri Travel fight ‘overtourism’ by taking visitors beyond the congested attractions of Asia

Khiri Travel’s new Asia Creative Series: a modern emphasis on tourism dispersal away from major tourism hubs

(Download these images and this release in Word & Text formats here)

Ahead of the World Travel Market in London, Khiri Travel has announced its “Asia Creative Series” – eight new travel routes in Southeast Asia designed to inspire tour operator product managers.

 

Willem Niemeijer, the founder of Khiri Travel, said the new Asia Creative Series varies from 10 to 21 days and immerses guests in deeply rewarding, often cross-border, travel experiences in Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Laos and Cambodia.

For example, there is a 10-day trip through lesser-seen Sri Lanka, starting in Anamaduwa, ending in Kotugoda; or see the best of remote Indochina on a 16-day discovery trip from Luang Prabang to Hanoi.

The biggest trip is a 21-day odyssey around the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, starting in Bali and ending in Gili Meno.

The series also delivers in-depth experiences on circular trips starting and finishing in Bangkok and Yangon. Vietnam, Bali and Myanmar are fully represented too.

“The itineraries have been designed as inspiration for product managers,” says Niemeijer. “The trips are in-depth
and visit the must-see highlights. However, the emphasis is on people and locations that are largely untouched
by tourism.”

He added: “While these tours go very local, almost all overnights are possible in comfortable, or even luxury accommodations, making these tours accessible for a broad selection of travellers.”

Each itinerary has been encapsulated in a series of PDFs and high quality slimline brochures for easy sharing
with clients. The brochures will be available at the Khiri Travel booth (AS603) at WTM London.

‘Overtourism’ is a vexing issue, says Niemeijer. “As tourism is booming in Asia, pressure is mounting on sustainability
and capacity at certain places. Khiri wants to encourage visitor dispersal to where tourism visitation is limited,” he says.

 

Khiri Travel will be at WTM London to promote its Asia Creative Series and update the travel trade on its latest DMC product news and services from Asia.

Niemeijer will address a panel on World Responsible Tourism Day, 8 November at WTM entitled, “Securing Commercial Advantage: Marketing Responsible Tourism.” It takes place 15:30 – 16:45 at the WTM Responsible Tourism Theatre, AF580.

 

YAANA Ventures and Grasshoppers Adventures organizied the YAANA Corporate Bike Challenge 2017 in support of Operation Smile.

YAANA Ventures and Grasshoppers Adventures organized the YAANA Corporate Bike Challenge 2017 in support of Operation Smile. The exciting event raised USD 25,000 for Operation Smile Thailand and Operation Smile Vietnam.

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YAANA Bike Challenge Raises US$25000 for Operation Smile Kids

Three-day ride in Vietnam raises funds to pay for numerous cleft palate operations for Asian children

 

YAANA Ventures Corporate Bike Challenge gives US$25000 to Operation Smile Foundation 25 September in Bangkok. (L to R) Mark Remijan, CFO YAANA Ventures; Therese Beauvais, Board Member, Operation Smile Thailand; Khun ‘Nong’ Niemeijer, Board Director, Khiri Travel Thailand: Willem Niemeijer, CEO, YAANA Ventures (Download image above and ones from the ride itself here. This release is also available in Word & Text formats here)

YAANA Ventures presented US$25000 to Operation Smile Thailand and Vietnam on 25 September in Bangkok. The donation was made possible by 20 energetic rider-sponsors who joined the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge. The three-day 226 km bike ride took place 9-11 September along the scenic coast of central Vietnam, from Quy Nhon to Hoi An.

The funds will be used to pay for operations, after care and speech therapy for Asian children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip. Operation Smile Thailand, Board of Directors Member, Therese Beauvais, receiving the cheque on behalf of Operation Smile, said: “I would like to thank and congratulate our friends at YAANA Ventures, Grasshopper Adventures and all the rider-sponsors who participated in the YAANA Corporate Bike Challenge in Vietnam. It was not an easy ride and yet everyone stayed true to their commitment and finished the ride in style, bringing more awareness and much needed funds to both Operation Smile Thailand and Operation Smile Vietnam. We are forever grateful for their sustained support and dedication to children in the region.”

The 20 rider-sponsors who sweated hard and pushed themselves to raise funds were the senior executives of ASEAN Capital, Antipodeans, Sansara, InVision Hospitality, Anantara Chow Energy, EZ Land, Les Rives Experience, Vietnam Trade Alliance, Khiri Travel, Green Trails, GROUND, EMM Hotel Saigon, Remote Trails, YAANA Ventures and Grasshopper Adventures.

Chow Energy CEO Anavin Jiratomsiri, on day two, after 95 kilometres of biking in hot, humid conditions, rallied the two other Chow Energy rider participants to continue riding for another five kilometres (outside of the program design) in order to reach the magical 100 kilometres in one day — a feat of accomplishment.

Chris Stafford, Chief Operating Officer of 137 Pillars Hotels and Resorts, said that he “enjoyed every minute of it”. Frans Betgem, Founder and Managing Director of Green Trails in Thailand, said: “Wish I could do it all over again.”

Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures, who also participated, said: “All our sponsors were heroes in raising money for Operation Smile. Thank you to them all.”

He added: “Our objectives were to celebrate the beauty of ASEAN destinations, spread awareness of low impact responsible tourism, share ideas for best practice examples and push ourselves mentally and physically for a good cause.”

YAANA Ventures, which creates and invests in tourism companies that abide to a “people, planet, profit” ethos, will organise another YAANA Bike Challenge next year for like-minded companies and individuals.

Companies or individuals with an interest in sponsorship are invited to contact the organisers on bike2017@yaana-ventures.com.


Riders of the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge on the road in Vietnam

GROUNDRocks.com Helps Young Travellers Do Good in Asia

The new online platform is dedicated to providing easily booked, affordable and constructive experiences for young people who want to give back when they visit Southeast Asia

Each trip is a structured balance of community work, organised days of cultural sightseeing and hiking to local nature attractions with a few days off at leisure included

(Download images and Word format here)

 

GROUND Asia is launching GROUNDRocks.com this week to showcase easy to book community experiences for individual young people, couples, and groups of friends who want to do good on their trip to Southeast Asia. Young travellers can choose and book online from options in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali and Jogjakarta in Indonesia.

GROUNDRocks.com is an extension of GROUND Asia, which specialises in creating and operating development trips in Asia for institutions such as schools, colleges and universities.

The GROUNDRocks programs run for 18 days in either Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam or Indonesia, and have been designed to be a transformational experience for both the traveller and the host community. The local community benefits from projects such as school construction and maintenance, English lessons and agricultural work. The process builds leadership values, resiliency and cross-cultural understanding on both sides.

“Our journeys are developed with the objective of transforming young travellers through hands-on, positive experiences in Southeast Asia,” said Jack Bartholomew, the Vietnam-based General Manager of GROUNDRocks. Bartholomew is attending the World Youth and Student Travel Conference in Montreal this week, where the new platform will be unveiled and promoted.

The GROUNDRocks website shows the price of each 18-day trip, which varies from US$1000 to US$1312, including supervised community work, sightseeing, meals, and homestay accommodation.

Each trip is a structured balance of community work, organised days of cultural sightseeing and hiking to local nature attractions with a few days off at leisure included.

Each participant receives a certificate of participation at the end and has the option of joining flexible, guided extension trips. These are priced US$640-US$750 per person for eight days, with cheaper prices for shorter trips. Activities typically include hiking, sightseeing, snorkelling, bicycle rides and the like, and are more akin to a standard backpacker experience.

Both the 18-day community trips and the leisure extension trips run on guaranteed fixed departure dates, which are clearly shown on the website.

“GROUNDRocks.com makes it easy for young people wishing to spend time in Southeast Asia and give something back at the same time,” said Bartholomew. “The new website allows young people – or their parents – to assess and book no matter where they are in the world. We make community-based trips in Asia simple and stress free.”


Jack Bartholomew and GROUND staff on field projects in Southeast Asia

Cardamom Tented Camp New Nature Packages on “TRAVEL BEGINS AT 40”

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New Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia Announces Nature Activities, Packages and Rates

Cardamom Tented Camp ecotourism paradise in Cambodia: Nine comfortable tents with private bathrooms; guided hikes through forest and grasslands; 18,000 hectares of native forest reserve (Download images here. This press release is also available and Word and Text formats here.)

The new Cardamom Tented Camp in Botum Sakor National Park in southwest Cambodia has announced 3 day/2 night and 4 day/3 night packages for nature tourists. The safari-style camp with nine furnished and comfortable boutique tents, each with a private bathroom, is open for booking now, with the soft opening on 1 November.

Both packages have been created for nature tourists whose expenditure will help keep the forest standing. An economically viable Cardamom Tented Camp helps keep the area out of the hands of loggers, poachers and mining operators.

Each package includes an introductory presentation on the magnificent 18,000 hectare Botum Sakor National Park followed by guided hikes by Wildlife Alliance rangers. Guests follow abandoned poaching and logging trails through dense forest home to macaques, gibbons, hornbills and more. Hikers can inspect confiscated snares, traps and improvised hunting rifles at a ranger station.

After hiking, guests have the option of kayaking back to the tented camp on the Preak Tachan river.

Each inclusive package with breakfast, lunch and dinner in the camp’s riverside restaurant allows time for guests to explore by themselves or in small groups, or to simply lounge by the floating pier at the camp with binoculars spotting some of the hundreds of bird species in the park. Guests have the option of joining a second ranger patrol on a different route during their stay.

Asian elephants, dhole, clouded leopards, hog badgers, sun bears, mouse deer and pangolin all rely on the mature forest habitat around the camp.

“The Cardamom Tented Camp helps keep the forest standing,” says Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures, the sustainable tourism company invited to create a low-impact ecotourism camp. “We can’t take the forest’s survival for granted. Each visitor helps us show the world that well managed ecotourism is a viable alternative to logging and hunting.”

At the eco-camp, which is a three way initiative between the Minor International, YAANA Ventures and Wildlife Alliance, a percentage of the revenue will go directly to Wildlife Alliance. Wildlife Alliance is supported by the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, an initiative of the Minor Group. Any tented camp profits will be reinvested locally.

The two new packages can start at the Wildlife Alliance lodge and pier in Trapeang Rung at set times or include transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle from Phnom Penh or Trat airport in Thailand. From Trapeang Rung it is a one-hour river trip to the Cardamom Tented Camp.

Trapeang Rung is located along Route 48 approximately one hour’s drive from the Hat Lek-Koh Kong border with Thailand. It is two hours north of Sihanoukville. A regular local bus service between Phnom Penh and Koh Kong stops on request at Trapeang Rung.

The price of the 3D/2N package commencing in Trapeang Rung starts at US$198 per person on a twin/double sharing basis (single room surcharge US$65). The 4D/3N package starts at US$289 (single room surcharge US$95). The packages, including pre-arranged transfers from Trat or Phnom Penh, are US$389 and US$479 respectively. There are discounts for transfer pickup or drop off at Sihanoukville.

Helicopter transfers from either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh can be arranged by the Cardamom Tented Camp.

Rates for tour operators are available on application to sales@cardamomtentedcamp.com

Further information: CardamomTentedCamp.com

Operation Smile Thailand Thanks YAANA Bike Challenge Riders

Ahead of the event, five-year old recipient of a successful cleft palate operation also wishes the riders well.

Can smile now: Five-year old Pavinee Kaewsai, Operation Smile Thailand Board of Directors Member, Therese Beauvais, and typical coastal scenery in central Vietnam (Download these images here. This release is also available in Word & Text formats here)

 

Operation Smile Thailand has thanked the 20 riders of the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge and wished them well for the 226-km fundraiser for the charity.

The three-day corporate challenge takes place 9-11 September in central Vietnam. It will raise thousands of dollars for Operation Smile, which pays for operations for Asian children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip.

A young recipient of such an operation wished the riders a successful fund-raising trip.

“Good luck to all the riders on the YAANA Corporate Bike Challenge,” said Pavinee Kaewsai, aged five, from Sisaket, northeast Thailand. Pavinee received cleft lip surgery from Operation Smile Thailand in February 2013. “Thank you for helping me and so many children smile again. Khob Khun Ka.”

The Board of Operation Smile Thailand wished the riders well too.

“It is with much appreciation and gratitude that I wish all riders of the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge safe travels and the wind at your backs,” said Therese Beauvais, Board Member of Operation Smile Thailand. “Without your compassion, sacrifice and generosity, we would not be able to carry on with the meaningful work of Operation Smile. Thank you for your participation and kind support.”

Apart from fund raising, the secondary objective of the YAANA Bike Challenge is to bring together progressive corporate managers to have fun and enjoy amazing scenery while they push themselves mentally and physically as they ride from Quy Nhon to Hoi An.

“It is a signature responsible tourism experience and fundraising event designed to be enjoyed by corporate managers who want to do more. They can test their ability on the bike, network in the evenings and give a beautiful new start for children born with cleft palates,” said Adam Platt-Hepworth, CEO of Grasshopper Adventures, the specialist bike tour company that is handling all the cycling logistics for the challenge.

Additional information about the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge is available here and here.

To date, YAANA Bike Challenge has signed up 20 riders from sponsors that include YAANA Ventures, Grasshopper Adventures, ASEAN Capital, Antipodeans, Sansara, InVision Hospitality, Anantara, Chow Energy, EZ Land, Les Rives Experience, Vietnam Trade Alliance, Khiri Travel, Green Trails, GROUND, EMM Hotel Saigon, Remote Trails, and ScottAsia Communications.

Companies or individuals with an interest in sponsorship are invited to contact the organisers on bike2017@yaana-ventures.com

Anantara Hoi An Resort and EMM Hotel Saigon Add Value to Corporate Bike Challenge

Environmentally friendly charity riders will enjoy deeply discounted hotel rates in Vietnam as they raise funds for Operation Smile

Approaching the Anantara Hoi An Resort (left) and the EMM Hotel Saigon: making the YAANA Bike Challenge an enjoyable experience for fund raising riders. (Download the collage or individual images here; this release is also available in Word and Text only formats here.)

The Anantara Hoi An Resort and EMM Hotel Saigon have entered into the charitable spirit of the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge by offering deeply discounted room rates for the fund-raising riders.

At the start of the three-day ride in central Vietnam on September 9, the EMM will supply the organizers deep discounts for the opening ceremony to get the riders off to a flying start with great food and drinks.

On completion of the trip on September 11, the Anantara Hoi An Resort is sponsoring the closing ceremony in full, so that riders can replenish their calories with high quality fare in the UNESCO heritage town.

Pieter van der Hoeven, General Manager at Anantara Hoi An Resort

“We are ready to reward the kind-hearted riders with well-earned magnificent food, drinks and hospitality on their arrival in Hoi An,” said Pieter van der Hoeven, General Manager of the Anantara.

The three-day 226 km ride from Quy Nhon to Hoi An is organised by YAANA Ventures and Grasshopper Adventures.

The objective of the bike challenge is to bring together progressive corporate managers to promote sustainable practices and raise funds for Operation Smile, which pays for operations for Asian children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip.

Over 20 riders from sponsoring companies will participate in the fundraiser. Corporate bike riders are paying between US$2000 and US$5000 for company sponsorship packages that will benefit Operation Smile.

Green Objectives

In addition to fund raising, a good work out and the sharing of progressive ideas among corporate leaders, YAANA Bike Challenge participants have all signed up to raise awareness of responsible and environmentally sustainable business practices.

For example, Chow Energy Public Company Ltd, a major sponsor, focuses on the investment and operation of renewable energy projects.

Ahead of the bike challenge Chow Energy CEO Anavin Jiratomsiri said: “Our passion and commitment is towards building a more environmentally sustainable future whilst also delivering on our financial responsibilities to our shareholders. We are very proud to be a part of and contribute to the global shift from non-renewable to renewable sources of energy that create a clean and sustainable future.”

Environmentally aware property developer Sansara Development Ltd, which is building a residential project in Hua Hin, Thailand, is also a major sponsor.

Energy efficiency, longevity and low power usage were the founding concepts of the Sansara retirement village in Hua Hin.

“We have followed that through with environmentally low-impact construction methods to maximise energy efficiency,” said Sansara Development CEO Suresh Subramaniam. “Our holistic, sustainable approach is helping us create an aesthetically pleasing, safe and functional living space.”

For the bike challenge, Grasshopper Adventures, a leading bike tour specialist in Asia, will provide full technical, equipment and guide support, including international standard helmets, well maintained bikes fitted for the conditions, support vehicles, English speaking guide, bicycle mechanic, meals listed in the itinerary, as well as all water and snacks during the rides. A support van allows riders to take a rest if needed.

Additional information about the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge is available here and here, including how to participate

Operation Smile details on how it helps fix young children’s facial deformities such as cleft palates are available here.

To date, the YAANA Bike Challenge has signed up 20 riders from sponsors that include YAANA Ventures, Grasshopper Adventures, Antipodeans, Sansara, Chow Energy, ASEAN Capital,  InVision Hospitality, Khiri Travel, Green Trails, GROUND, Remote Trails, and ScottAsia Communications.

Companies or individuals with an interest in sponsorship are invited to contact YAANA Bike Challenge organizers on bike2017@yaana-ventures.com

 

New Tented Eco Camp Keeps Rainforest Standing in Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia

A NEW tented camp is being opened in southwest Cambodia with the tagline, “Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing.”

Guests staying at the Cardamom Tented Camp will be sustaining a conservation-friendly business that was set up to help keep an 18,000-hectare (180 km2) concession out of the hands of loggers, poachers and sand mining operations. The tract of land in Botum Sakor National Park, part of a vital elephant migration corridor, is managed by Wildlife Alliance, a Cambodia-based organisation involved in wildlife rescue and forest conservation.

Wildlife Alliance is supported by the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, an initiative of the Minor Group.

The nature conservation concession includes diverse habitats: seaside mangroves, lowland tropical forests, and triple-tiered canopy in the hills, which reach up to 335 metres (1,100ft) elevation. Asian elephants, dhole, clouded leopards, hog badgers, sun bears, mouse deer and pangolin all rely on the mature forest habitat around the camp.

Neighbouring concessions have been taken over by companies that cut indigenous timber and replace it with rubber or palm oil monoculture trees that cannot sustain wildlife diversity. The new camp is making a stand against that trend.

Guests at the new lodge on the Preak Tachan river will be able to take guided day hikes and river trips with local rangers. While walking, guests will be able to spot wildlife and learn about the mangrove and rainforest ecosystems and the challenges of keeping naturally mature forests standing in face of pressure to ‘develop’.

Visitors can also help by replanting indigenous trees in degraded parts of the concession, go kayaking, help rangers on patrols with their camera traps, or engage in other conservation activities.

At the eco-camp, which is a three way initiative between the Minor Group, YAANA Ventures and Wildlife Alliance, a percentage of the revenue will go directly to Wildlife Alliance. Any profits will be reinvested locally.

“When we tell guests, ‘Your stay keeps the forest standing,’ we 100% mean it,” says John Roberts the Minor Group’s Group Director of Sustainability and Conservation. The Minor Group’s Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation has been fully funding the ranger protection efforts for the past four years at the site.

A condition of holding the concession from the Cambodian government is that economic activity must take place. Drawing on successful ecotourism models from across the world, a low impact tented camp was chosen by the stakeholders as the best sustainable option.

Bangkok-based YAANA Ventures was invited to create the camp, based on its previous experience running the Banteay Chhmar community tented camp in Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia and the Anurak Lodge at Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand.

“The tented camp sets an example for the local and national economy as a sustainable alternative to illegal logging, poaching and habitat destruction,” says Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures. “The combined expertise of the stakeholders makes this a uniquely qualified project.”

The Cardamom Tented Camp will soft open 1 September with nine comfortable, furnished tented accommodations, each with an en-suite bathroom and a large patio area.

The camp, with a riverside restaurant, is off grid and largely powered by solar panels.

Cardamom Tented Camp can be reached by road from Phnom Penh, while Trat airport and Koh Chang in Thailand is less than a four-hour drive away.

The Cardamom Tented Camp will open bookings on 25 July for stays after 1 September 2017.  Pricing, packages with tours and activities, and all-inclusive deals, will be announced shortly.

Further information: CardamomTentedCamp.com.

New annual corporate bike tour challenge announced in Asia

The inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge will take place in Vietnam, 9-11 September, 2017. The objective is to bring together progressive corporate managers to have fun and enjoy amazing scenery while they push themselves mentally and physically. In addition they will promote sustainability and raise funds for Operation Smile, which pays for operations for Asian children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip.

The three-day 226 km ride from Quy Nhon to Hoi An is organised by YAANA Ventures and Grasshopper Adventures. It is not a race.

“It is a signature responsible tourism experience and fundraising event designed to be enjoyed by corporate managers who want to do more. They can test their ability on the bike, network in the evenings and give a beautiful new start for children born with cleft palates,” said Adam Platt-Hepworth, CEO of Grasshopper Adventures.

YAANA and Grasshopper are offering three fund raising corporate sponsorship packages for companies that want to contribute to Operation Smile. Thereís a US$5,000 sponsorship package that entitles participation of three riders from the company and assorted branding opportunities. There are also packages at US$3,500 (two riders, plus branding), and US$2,000 (one rider, plus branding).

“Apart from sponsors in travel, tourism and hospitality we are working to attract corporates from other sectors in Asia who share our sustainable business and fundraising objectives,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures.

Corporate sponsors from outside travel and tourism currently include Chow Energy, an investor in renewable power.

The organisers are seeking over 25 riders from diverse sectors for the inaugural event.

Participants who wish to raise their own funds for Operation Smile can pay US$850 to cover the cost of the three-day event and create their own fundraising platform through mechanisms such as GoGetFunding.

Grasshopper Adventures, a leading bike tour specialist in Asia, will provide full technical, equipment and guide support, including international standard helmets, well maintained bikes fitted for the conditions, support vehicles, English speaking guide, bicycle mechanic, meals listed in the itinerary, as well as all water and snacks during the rides. A support van allows riders to take a rest if needed.

Participation includes meals during the bike ride. Riders have to arrange their own hotels before and after the event and international air tickets. Grasshopper can recommend specific hotels and flights on request.

“The annual YAANA Bike Challenge is a great way to spend time among a crowd of regional business leaders, exchange ideas, make new contacts and transform young lives for the better,” said Niemeijer.

Additional information about the inaugural YAANA Bike Challenge is available here and here, including how to participate

Operation Smile details on how it helps fix young childrenís facial deformities such as cleft palates are available here.

To date, YAANA Bike Challenge signed up 15 riders from sponsors that include YAANA Ventures, Grasshopper Adventures, Antipodeans, Sansara, InVision Hospitality, Chow Energy, Khiri Travel, Green Trails, GROUND, Remote Trails, and ScottAsia Communications.

Companies or individuals with an interest in sponsorship are invited to contact the organisers on bike2017@yaana-ventures.com