Yaana Ventures

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with a member of YAANA Ventures, please contact us through the below methods:

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

Cardamom Tented Camp and Anurak Community Lodge Join the ‘Earth Collection’

Cardamom Tented Camp and Anurak Community Lodge Join the ‘Earth Collection’

Earth Collection: Cardamom Tented Camp and Anurak Community Lodge, among 36 of the world’s leading green lodges & hotels (Download images and this press release in Word & Text versions here)

Two YAANA Ventures’ ecolodges have been included in the National Geographic Traveller UK’s invitation-only Earth Collection publication, which came out in the first week of August 2019.
 
Anurak Community Lodge located in Khao Sok National Park in southern Thailand and Cardamom Tented Camp in Botum Sokor National Park in southwest Cambodia have been included in Nat Geo Traveller UK’s list of 36 eco-friendly hotels around the world that are leading by example in responsible tourism.
 
Invitation to the Earth Collection was based on each property having won an environmental award. All properties also have to be leading advocates of sustainable tourism practices. The 68-page Earth Collection includes properties in 28 destinations from all the world’s continents.
 
Anurak Community Lodge, which opened in 2016, won the 2019 SKAL Asian Area Award – Environment Category. Cardamom Tented Lodge, which opened in 2017 won the 2019 PATA Gold Award for the Environment – Ecotourism category. The Cambodian ecolodge was also one of 15 global finalists in the World Travel & Tourism Council’s 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
 
“Invitation to join the Nat Geo Traveller Earth Collection comes as an honour,” says Willem Niemeijer, CEO of the lodges’ operator and parent company, YAANA Ventures. “It recognises the unique and caring relationships that Anurak Community Lodge and Cardamom Tented Camp have fostered with the natural environment and the communities around them.”
 
Located between Koh Samui and Phuket on the southern Thai peninsula, Anurak Lodge acts a secluded nature hideaway and activities base for the nearby Khao Sok National Park.
 
Guests engage in minimal-impact tourism activities such as hiking, river kayaking, cycling, rafting, jungle cooking and exploring nearby Chiew Larn lake. The lodge offers a range of 3-4 day packages for visitors. Anurak offers 20 eco-friendly rooms across 12 well-appointed bungalows and two safari-style tents.
 
In Cambodia, Cardamom Tented Camp has led by example to combat the illegal wildlife trade and boost natural habitat conservation within a 180 sq km wildlife concession granted by the Cambodian government.
 
With its partners, Wildlife Alliance and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, the ecolodge delivers conservation tourism experiences to guests, trains local staff and supplies income and resources to 12 forest rangers protecting Botum Sakor’s forest and wildlife – hence the camp’s tagline, “Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing.”
 
“Hotels and resorts across the globe are trying to make a difference to the impact they have on the planet,” says Adam Fox, project manager at National Geographic Traveller UK. “Earth Collection is a unique platform to champion their contributions, innovative plans and certifications for being sustainably minded.”
 
The Earth Collection follows on from previous Nat Geo UK annual collections dedicated to spa & wellness, Africa, European cities, and luxury.
 
Further information and booking for Anurak Community Lodge is available here. And for Cardamom Tented Camp here.

Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia and (right) the setting of Anurak Community Lodge in Surat Thani, southern Thailand (Download images here.)

About Cardamom Tented Camp
Cardamom Tented Camp is an ecolodge located in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia. Offering nine well-appointed safari-style tents, the lodge aims to minimize the human footprint on the natural world and serve as a role model in promoting sustainable ecotourism practices within both the national park and Cambodia as a whole.
 
Located on an 18,000-hectare (180 km2) concession, the lodge and its surroundings are home to pristine lowland and coastal habitats linking wildlife corridors to the Cardamom Mountains. Eco-friendly trekking and kayaking packages are available for adventure enthusiasts who are keen to be a part of real conservation work.
 
Cardamom Tented Camp is a three-way initiative between Minor Group, YAANA Ventures and Wildlife Alliance to ensure the land and its biodiversity does not fall into the hands of loggers, poachers and sand dredging operations.
 
About Anurak Community Lodge
Located a 75-minute drive from Surat Thani airport, 2 hrs 30 mins from Phuket airport and 2 hrs from Krabi airport, Anurak Community Lodge is an award winning eco-retreat for active lifestyle visitors who respect nature and local community traditions. The 20-key lodge offers Deluxe Green, Eco Double, Eco Twin, and Deluxe Jungle Tent options. Surrounded by spectacular limestone karst scenery, the lodge is an ideal base to explore adjacent Khao Sok National Park and majestic Chiew Larn Lake. Full information and booking at AnurakLodge.com.
 
About operator YAANA Ventures 
YAANA Ventures is an owner, partner and operator of entrepreneurial travel and hospitality ventures in Asia. YAANA distinguishes itself by sharing real experiences that are grounded in the cultural richness of Asia. The company is the champion of the triple bottom-line. It empowers its ventures with the values to nurture the people with whom it works. Visit https://yaana-ventures.com/

YAANA Ventures
33/2 Tiwanon Road Soi 28, 
Bangkasor, Muang, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 2 591 5420 
Email: business@yaana-ventures.com

Media Contact
Ken Scott | ScottAsia Communications | Mobile: (+44) 7949 077959 | Email: kens@scottasia.net
Anchalee Sriwongsa | ScottAsia Communications | Mobile: (+66) 91 806 0484 | Email: ann@scottasia.net

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© COPYRIGHT 2018 YAANA VENTURES. ALL RIGHT RESERVED. DEVELOPED BY YAANA VENTURES MARKETING TEAM

Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia Wins PATA Gold Award for Ecotourism

Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia Wins PATA Gold Award for Ecotourism

Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing: a 90-second introduction to PATA Gold Award winner, 
Cardamom Tented Camp
(A range of camp photos are available here. Download this press release in Word & Text versions here)

Conservation-focused ecolodge and ecotourism project Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia, has won the 2019 PATA Gold Award in the Environment – Ecotourism Project category.
 
Some 27 tourism organisations won 33 honours in the 2019 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Awards, which attracted 197 entries from 78 organisations world-wide. (Full winners list here.)
 
Since opening in November 2017, Cardamom Tented Camp in Botum Sakor National Park, has led by example to combat the illegal wildlife trade and boost natural habitat conservation within a 180 sq km wildlife concession.
 
In the last year and a half, Cardamom Tented Camp has delivered conservation tourism experiences to international visitors, trained local staff and supplied vital income for forest rangers protecting wildlife and forest – hence the ecolodge’s tagline, “Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing.”
 
The camp is the realisation of a unique partnership between two NGOs – Wildlife Alliance and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (created by Minor Group) – and YAANA Ventures, an Asian responsible tourism partner and operator, which built and runs the lodge.
 
Due to the proactive relationship between the camp, Wildlife Alliance and the rangers, logging has stopped and the incidence of poaching has rapidly declined.
 
“We have created something truly unique in conservation tourism,” says lodge manager, Allan Michaud, an ardent environmentalist and wildlife photographer. “We believe the model for the camp could be replicated in other forest environments to protect wildlife habitats and deliver great ecotourism experiences to guests.”
 
By July 2019, 26 out of 29 reviews by tourists on TripAdvisor rated the camp as “excellent” – the highest category – giving it a 5.0 overall score.
 
The nine-unit tented camp, with restaurant pavilion, staff dormitory, ecotourism equipment and boat pier, uses solar power to run lodge amenities, including waste water filtration. It is constructed on a natural grassland opening adjacent to the Preak Tachan River, surrounded by mixed indigenous lowland forest and mangroves.
 
The camp offers a variety of packages which include activities such as hiking, kayaking, wildlife spotting, sleeping in tree tents, and Khmer cooking lessons.
 
The camp has recently added trips that include an overnight in the deep jungle in tentsile tree tents. These adventurous trips are available from November 2019.
 
Arranged by Wildlife Alliance, journalists and visitors to the camp have also witnessed the release of illegally captured species such as pangolins, monitor lizards, reticulated pythons, long tailed macaques, pig-tailed macaques, several species of tortoise, and a brown fish owl, all being released back to the wild in the forest near the camp.
 
Cardamom Tented Camp was one of 15 global finalists in the 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awardsorganised by the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, gives his impressions of Cardamom Tented Camp

About Cardamom Tented Camp
Cardamom Tented Camp is an ecolodge located in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia. Offering nine well-appointed safari-style tents, the lodge aims to minimize the human footprint on the natural world and serve as a role model in promoting sustainable ecotourism practices within both the national park and Cambodia as a whole.
 
Located on an 18,000-hectare (180 km2) concession, the lodge and its surroundings are home to pristine lowland and coastal habitats linking wildlife corridors to the Cardamom Mountains. Eco-friendly trekking and kayaking packages are available for adventure enthusiasts who are keen to be a part of real conservation work.
 
Cardamom Tented Camp is a three-way initiative between Minor Group, YAANA Ventures and Wildlife Alliance to ensure the land and its biodiversity does not fall into the hands of loggers, poachers and sand dredging operations.
 
Administrative Office of Cardamom Tented Camp
No. 25D, Street 294, Sangkat Tonle Bassac,
Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh,
Cambodia
Tel: +855 966 410 783
Email: sales@cardamomtentedcamp.com
 
About Cardamom Tented Camp operator YAANA Ventures 
YAANA Ventures is an owner, partner and operator of entrepreneurial travel and hospitality ventures in Asia. YAANA distinguishes itself by sharing real experiences that are grounded in the cultural richness of Asia. The company is the champion of the triple bottom-line. It empowers its ventures with the values to nurture the people with whom it works. Visit https://yaana-ventures.com/

YAANA Ventures
33/2 Tiwanon Road Soi 28, 
Bangkasor, Muang, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 2 591 5420 
Email: business@yaana-ventures.com

Media Contact
Ken Scott | ScottAsia Communications | Mobile: (+44) 7949 077959 | Email: kens@scottasia.net
Anchalee Sriwongsa | ScottAsia Communications | Mobile: (+66) 91 806 0484 | Email: ann@scottasia.net

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Anurak Community Lodge in Thailand Wins SKAL Asian Environmental Award

Anurak Community Lodge in Thailand Wins SKAL Asian Environmental Award

Environmental accolade for Anurak Community Lodge: Andrew Wood (left) presents the SKAL award to Willem Niemeijer, 9 July in Bangkok; activities and scenery in and around the lodge 
(Download these images here and this release in Word and Text versions here.)

Anurak Community Lodge in Surat Thani province, southern Thailand, has won the 2019 SKÅL Asian Area Award – Environment Category.  The 20-key ecolodge received the unanimous vote of the judges at the 48th SKAL Asia Congress in Bangalore 28-30 June.
 
The award was presented 9 July in Bangkok by Andrew Wood, President of SKAL International, Bangkok, to Willem Niemeijer, the CEO of YAANA Ventures, which conceived, built and runs Anurak Community Lodge.
 
After presenting the award, Mr Wood said: “Willem and his team represent the very best of the tourism industry in Southeast Asia. They are passionate, trustworthy, both global and local — and entrepreneurs.”
 
He added: “It is with great pride that we have watched them build a dynamic organization that champions the triple bottom line – people, planet, profit – while preserving local culture and protecting the natural environment. Anurak Community Lodge is a great example of that commitment.”
 
Opened in 2016, the lodge acts a secluded nature hideaway and activities base for the nearby Khao Sok National Park. Set in six hectares of tropical gardens on the boundary of the park, Anurak offers 20 eco-friendly rooms across 12 well-appointed bungalows and two safari-style tents.
 
Guests engage in responsible minimal-impact tourism activities such as hiking, river kayaking, cycling, rafting, jungle cooking and exploring nearby Chiew Larn lake. The lodge offers a range of 3-4 daypackages for visitors.
 
Anurak is currently working to replace an old oil palm plantation that would have once been lowland evergreen forest with indigenous flora. Located within the lodge’s boundaries, guests are invited to participate in the reforestation initiative. 

At the lodge, single-use plastics such as bags, bottles and straws are banned. It has a recycling station, composting zone, and uses its grey water from the laundry on its vegetable and herb garden.
 
The lodge’s commitment to the environment and local traditions is explained in a video by its manager, George Newling-Ward, here.
 
SKAL Asia has over 2,500 members in 43 Clubs, 28 grouped in five national committees and 15 affiliated. The SKAL Asian area is the most diverse region in the world for SKAL, reaching from Guam in the Pacific Ocean more than 10,000 km to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean with clubs in 19 countries in between.

About Anurak Community Lodge
Located a 75-minute drive from Surat Thani airport, 2 hrs 30 mins from Phuket airport and 2 hrs from Krabi airport, Anurak Community Lodge is an award winning eco-retreat for active lifestyle visitors who respect nature and local community traditions. The 20-key lodge offers Deluxe Green, Eco Double, Eco Twin, and Deluxe Jungle Tent options. Surrounded by spectacular limestone karst scenery, the lodge is an ideal base to explore adjacent Khao Sok National Park and majestic Chiew Larn Lake. Full information and booking at AnurakLodge.com.

About YAANA Ventures 
YAANA Ventures is an owner, partner and operator of entrepreneurial travel and hospitality ventures in Asia. YAANA distinguishes itself by sharing real experiences that are grounded in the cultural richness of Asia. The company is the champion of the triple bottom-line: it empowers its ventures with the values to nurture the people with whom it works. Visit https://yaana-ventures.com/.
 
About SKAL International
Skål International is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. Skål International today has approximately 15,000 members in 356 clubs throughout 85 nations. More atSKAL.org.
 
Anurak Community Lodge
Address: 14/1 Moo 4, Klong Sok,
Phanom District,
Surat Thani 84250
Phone: (+66) [0] 81 898 9271
Email: info@anuraklodge.com

YAANA Ventures
33/2 Tiwanon Road Soi 28, 
Bangkasor, Muang, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
Tel: (+66) 2 591 5420 
Email: business@yaana-ventures.com

Media Contact
Ken Scott | ScottAsia Communications | Mobile: (+44) 7949 077959 | Email: kens@scottasia.net
Anchalee Sriwongsa | ScottAsia Communications | Mobile: (+66) 91 806 0484 | Email: ann@scottasia.net

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Tourism Teachers Hold Ecotourism Hospitality Training Workshop in Southern Thailand

Tourism Teachers Hold Ecotourism Hospitality Training Workshop in Southern Thailand

The two-day event at Anurak Community Lodge gave valuable training in conservation and tourism hospitality to local service providers in Khao Sok National Park area

Workshop with a view: The Spirit of Hospitality training underway at Anurak Community Lodge in southern Thailand [Download these images and this press release in Word and Text format here.]

A leading Bangkok university delivered a series of hospitality skill building workshops to local tourism service providers in the ecotourism front line at Khao Sok national park, southern Thailand, 24-25 June.

The workshop was conducted by Assumption University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The event, which took place at Anurak Community Lodge, was sponsored by YAANA Ventures, a Bangkok based sustainable tourism investor.

Twenty-two tour guides, front office personnel, housekeepers, waiters and back of house staff, all from local villages, and employed at Anurak, benefited from two days of “Spirit of Hospitality” training, which was led by project coordinator Dr Scott Smith from the university.

YAANA Ventures’ founder, Willem Niemeijer, said of the training: “Khao Sok boasts some of Thailand’s most stunning scenery and is home to incredible biodiversity. We therefore share the responsibility to ensure tourism is developed in a sustainable way, showing that it can make a positive contribution to conservation that involves and benefits the local community.”

Ahead of the workshop, Dr Smith prepared a service audit and worked with management and staff to develop a training program to meet the needs of the lodge. Most guests are visitors form Europe, the United States and Singapore. They typically want informed, zero-impact nature activities such as forest hiking and kayaking in the park. When back at the lodge they appreciate local Thai food and ambience in the Hornbill restaurant, which offers a dramatic view of the karst mountain landscape.

“Our objective was to identify opportunities to exceed customers’ expectations and create positive memory-making moments for all guests visiting Anurak Community Lodge,” said Dr Smith.

Anurak means “to conserve” in Thai language. Accordingly, Anurak Lodge operates as an eco-friendly retreat with 18 comfortable bungalow-style rooms. The lodge is a jump off point for tours and activities in Khao Sok National Park and to the nearby Cheow Lan Lake, one of the most visually stunning and bio-diverse areas in South Thailand.

Established in 1980, Khao Sok National Park conserves 739 square kilometres of forested hills in Surat Thani Province. The rainforest of Khao Sok National Park is one of the oldest in the world.

Anurak Community Lodge opened its doors in 2015 and is designed, built and operated sustainably. The lodge doesn’t use plastic water bottles. It is replacing mono-culture palm oil trees in its grounds with indigenous plant and tree species. Anurak Community Lodge is currently being assessed by a leading international environmental standards accrediting agency. An announcement will be made soon.

About Anurak Community Lodge
Anurak Lodge is an eco-friendly lodge with 18 comfortable rooms in bungalow-style located between Khao Sok and Khlong Phanom national parks. The location was chosen for its serenity and remoteness. There are no other resorts, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores within walking distance. The lodge, which opened in 2015, is for nature lovers. There are no televisions in the rooms and restaurant. The owners made a conscious decision not to have a swimming pool. The lodge is a jump off point for tours and activities into Khao Sok National Park and to the nearby Cheow Lan Lake, one of the most stunning areas in South Thailand. Further information:https://anuraklodge.com/anurak-lodge/
 
Anurak Community Lodge
14/1 Moo 4, Klong Sok,
Phanom District,
Surat Thani 84250, Thailand
Phone: (+66) 81 898 9271
Email: info@anuraklodge.com
 
Assumption University’s Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Dr Scott Smith
Email: scottsmith@au.edu
 
YAANA Ventures media queries
Ken Scott
ScottAsia Communications
Email: kens@scottasia.net
Mobile: (+44) [0] 7949 077959
 
Anchalee Sriwongsa
ScottAsia Communications
Tel: (+66) 91 806 0484
Email: ann@scottasia.net

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UN Sustainable Development Goals Now Being Integrated into Students’ Educational Travel Programs in Asia

UN Sustainable Development Goals Now Being Integrated into Students’ Educational Travel Programs in Asia

[Download this image and this press release in Word & Text formats here]

Fourteen out of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals have been integrated into student travel and community engagement experiences in six Asian countries offered by GROUND Asia.
 
The new move establishes direct structural links between each of GROUND Asia’s 50 educational journeys and specific UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
 
For example, the Rural Business Development Study trip in Cambodia supports goals 1, 8, 9, 10, 11: poverty alleviation; decent work and economic growth; industry innovation and infrastructure; reduced inequalities; and sustainable cities and communities.
 
The Physiotherapy in Vietnam student journey supports goal 3: good health and well-being.
 
Mangrove Protection in Bali supports goals 11 to 15: sustainable cities and communities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; life below water; life on land; and so on.
 
In the new SDG affiliation, GROUND Asia also clearly identifies learning outcomes that students can expect from each trip.
 
“GROUND Asia is now fully committed to delivering destination experiences that advance the UN’s SDG agenda,” says Lauren Groves, General Manager of Thailand-based GROUND Asia.
 
She adds: “The UN SDGs are not going to be achieved without the efforts of many individuals, companies, NGOs, and civic organisations around the world. So, as GROUND Asia is dedicated to the triple bottom line, we are doing what makes sense and committing to a wider, more noble set of goals through educational travel.”
 
Since 2015, GROUND Asia has worked with some of the most disadvantaged communities in Southeast Asia. These include people who are vulnerable or struggling with poverty, lack of access to services and infrastructure, and even the early adverse effects of climate change.
 
“The communities we work with stand to gain the most if we achieve UN goals, but will be negatively impacted, disproportionately, if we fail,” says Groves.
 
UN SDGs were the targets formulated by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York in 2015. The goals act as practical guide to developing a more sustainable and prosperous global society by 2030.
 
The 17 Goals and 169 targets address a broad range of topics including poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and tackling climate change. Each of the 169 targets has between one and three progress indicators. In total, 232 indicators will measure compliance.
 
The UN says that the identified goals cannot be achieved by governments alone. Extensive global collaboration across a broad range of stakeholders and institutions – including educational ones – are required to make progress.
 
To collaborate with institutional stakeholders, GROUND Asia says that each of its 50 educational journeys can be customised and combined with other activities to fit a group’s needs.
 
For further information on GROUND Asia’s student journeys that support the UN’s SDGs, visit GROUNDAsia.com  or email: contact@groundasia.com.

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Blazing Saddles: YAANA Corporate Challenge 2019 Announced

Blazing Saddles: YAANA Corporate Challenge 2019 Announced

Responsible businesses invited to join charity bike rides in Vietnam and Myanmar

Spokes people on the road for good causes (click image for video). The YAANA Corporate Challenge 2019 will help five local charities in Myanmar and Vietnam. [Download images and this press release in Word & Text versions here.]

YAANA Ventures, a sustainable tourism investment group based in Southeast Asia, will once again hold its corporate networking and fundraising bicycle tour, the YAANA Corporate Challenge (YCC). Expanding to two countries, the tours will take place in North Vietnam 18-20 October, and at Inle Lake, Myanmar 6-8 December, 2019.
 
Participants will experience a great work out, friendship and business networking while raising funds for charity.
 
Both events are open to senior management and leaders from any business or non-profit organisation. As corporate networking and fundraising events, both YCC events are based around sustainability, conservation, and highlighting the quality of outdoor travel in Vietnam and Myanmar.

All proceeds from the Vietnam tour will go to Operation Smile Vietnam and Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. While in Myanmar, it will be the Bagan Plastic Campaign, the Minzontaung Burmese Star Tortoise Centre and the Khiri Reach Water Well Project.

The inaugural YCC took place in 2017 with 18 riders cycling 226km from Quy Nhon to Hoi An in Vietnam. It raised US$25000 for Operation Smile, which funded 33 life-enhancing surgeries for children.

“Apart from fund raising, the 2019 YAANA Corporate Challenge will provide an energetic, life-affirming meeting of minds for business people and leaders,” says Group CFO of YAANA Ventures, Mark Remijan, who participated in the 2017 event.

Cyclists will need a moderate level of fitness as both tours cover 125 km in two days.

“It’s ideal for men and women who want to do good, network, get inspired, and enjoy a robust two-day workout in a beautiful setting,” says Remijan.

Day 1 at both YCC events feature dinner and a networking event with guest speaker and panel discussion. Day 2 is bike program and dinner event. Day 3 is bike program and closing.

Corporate sponsorship packages are available at US$5000 (three riders), US$3500 (two riders), and US$2000 (one rider). All packages include bicycles, full back-up support, rider jerseys, three-night hotel stays, meals and plenty of branding opportunities and publicity for participating companies.

Full sponsorship details are available here which also includes video highlights of the 2017 event so that 2019 participants can get a feel for what to expect. A YCC Q&A page is available here. Media coverage from the previous YCC is here.

Remijan says that apart from appealing to progressive organisation leaders, YCC is also seeking product sponsors who can donate goods in kind to support the event and defray costs. Support could include food, beverage, and hospitality gifts for the closing ceremony auction and raffle. Personal queries about YCC 2019 should be sent to business@yaana-ventures.com.

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An Ecobrick Revolution is Starting in Vietnam

An Ecobrick Revolution is Starting in Vietnam

A group of 80 environmentally-conscious locals gathered for an ecobrick workshiop in Hanoi 6 April. The workshop at UP Co-working Space’s Creative Lab was created by GROUND Asia in collaboration with Make It Happen. It was entitled ‘From Plastic to Ecobricks’.

Ecobricks are single-use plastic bottles filled with other single-use plastics. They are packed to a set density which allows them to be used to make modular furniture, garden spaces and even full-scale buildings.

Turning a negative into a positive: 80 volunteers work with GROUND Asia to turn single-use plastic into something useful. [Download these images and this release in Word & Text formats here]

The aim is to contain a lot of toxic plastic in a single bottle. This minimises the number of plastics ending up in rivers, landfill sites and the environment. These ecobricks are not new to Hanoi. Many people have been making them by filling single-use plastic bottles with plastic waste such as bags, polystyrene and food packaging, for a couple of years.

This event was unusual, however, in that it was the first time that many new and experienced ecobrickers got together and learnt the basic skills that are required to make strong ecobricks suitable for building safe and long-lasting structures.

The event was run by GROUND Asia, an educational travel company that focuses on transformational change for the students and communities that they work with.

“It’s important that young people realise they can take proactive steps to turn the tide of plastic,” said Jayni Gudka, Assistant General Manager of GROUND Asia. “The ecobrick workshop represents an innovative way of responding to environmental challenges.”

The motivation for creating the event came from the projects that GROUND Asia run with communities that are directly impacted by plastic pollution, mostly in dump sites and rivers across Asia, she said.

The ecobricks provide a solution by utilising plastics in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. Those made at this event will be used in a community kindergarten project in Mai Chau, 160km from Hanoi in northwest Vietnam. GROUND Asia has been bringing school and university groups to visit Mai Chau to help with infrastructure projects at this community for a number of years.

“It’s really important for us to share our knowledge and expertise on social and environmental issues beyond the educational trips that we organise for our groups,” said Ms Gudka.

“Workshops like these have a lasting impact on the cities and communities where we work. When we see young children coming out of the workshop more passionate about caring for their environment, we know that we are helping transform the community for the future.”

UP Coworking Space, who are keen to develop an environmentally-aware entrepreneurial ecosystem in Vietnam, hosted the event.

“In parallel to economic development for UP’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, we want to create a healthy and green working environment for our members,” said Ngô Thiên Ngân of UP Coworking Space. “We have organized numerous events promoting this new ‘art de vivre’. Our new partnership with GROUND Asia is a big step to realise the environmental goals that UP wants to reach this year,” she said.

For more information about these ecobrick events and projects, and to find out how to get involved, visit the GROUND Asia website or contact Jayni Gudka, Assistant General Manager of GROUND Asia at jayni@groundasia.com.

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Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia Shortlisted as Global Finalist in WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia Shortlisted as Global Finalist in WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Cardamom Tented Camp

Located in a natural grassland clearing, Cardamom Tented Camp is making a stand for sustainable conservation tourism in Southeast Asia (Download these images and this release in Word & Text formats here)

Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia has been chosen as one of 15 global finalists in the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2019.

The camp is one of three contenders in the Changemakers Award category, which, this year, is focussed on fighting illegal wildlife trade through sustainable tourism.
 
In highlighting this issue the WTTC said: “Travel and tourism has a unique opportunity to provide alternative and sustainable livelihoods for people who live and work alongside some of the world’s most endangered, and in demand, species, as well as combating demand for illegally traded wildlife products. This category awards those organisations who have made a significant contribution to the protection of flora and/or fauna through their activities.”
 
Since opening in 2017, the Cardamom Tented Camp has integrated the role of 12 forest rangers who protect a 180 sq km (70 sq miles) lowland forest concession into the guest experience. In turn, the camp helps the forest rangers with salary support and physical amenities such as solar power generators at ranger stations. The rangers takes turn to lead conservation tourism hikes through the forest. They show tourists confiscated traps, mesh and weapons used by poachers.
 
Due to the rangers work, the illegal wildlife trade has been massively reduced in the forest which is now seeing a resurgence in formerly traded mammals such as the endangered clouded leopard, sun bear, northern pig-tailed macaque, pangolin, the Nicobar crab-eating macaque, and the (extremely shy) pileated gibbon, to name a few.
 
“We are humbled and honoured to be recognised in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards,” said Allan Michaud, lodge manager of the camp and a passionate environmentalist. “A great working partnership between the private, NGO and government sectors makes the camp a unique experience and a possible model for other conservation tourism initiatives.”
 
Cardamom Tented Camp is a partnership between Wildlife Alliance, the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, the Minor Group, and camp operator YAANA Ventures.
 
Since opening, the camp has operated under the slogan, “Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing.” Neighbouring areas in and around the 180 sq km concession have been cleared and replaced with mono-culture plantations of palm oil or rubber, with disastrous results for wildlife.
 
By comparison, in its concession, the Cardamom Tented Camp and its partners are making a stand against habitat destruction and the trade in wildlife species by using sustainable tourism as a force for good.

The winners of the 2019 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will be announced during the awards ceremony at the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain, 3-4 April 2019.

Watch the finalists announcement video here.

About Cardamom Tented Camp
Cardamom Tented Camp is an ecolodge located in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia. Offering nine well-appointed safari-style tents, the lodge aims to minimize the human footprint on the natural world and serve as a role model in promoting sustainable ecotourism practices within both the national park and Cambodia as a whole.
 
Located on an 18,000-hectare (180 km2) concession, the lodge and its surroundings are home to pristine lowland and coastal habitats linking wildlife corridors to the Cardamom Mountains.  Eco-friendly trekking and kayaking packages are available for adventure enthusiasts who are keen to be a part of real conservation work.
 
Cardamom Tented Camp is a three-way initiative between Minor Group, YAANA Ventures and Wildlife Alliance to ensure the land and its biodiversity does not fall into the hands of loggers, poachers and sand dredging operations.
 

Administrative Office of Cardamom Tented Camp
No. 25D, Street 294, Sangkat Tonle Bassac,
Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh,
Cambodia
Tel: +855 966 410 783
Email: sales@cardamomtentedcamp.com

About Cardamom Tented Camp operator YAANA Ventures 
YAANA Ventures is an owner, partner and operator of entrepreneurial travel and hospitality ventures in Asia. YAANA distinguishes itself by sharing real experiences that are grounded in the cultural richness of Asia. The company is the champion of the triple bottom-line: it empowers its ventures with the values to nurture the people with whom it works. Visit https://yaana-ventures.com/

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YAANA Ventures Advances Global Conservation Efforts By Joining Adventure Travel Conservation Fund

YAANA Ventures Advances Global Conservation Efforts By Joining Adventure Travel Conservation Fund

ATCF members provide direct funding to support natural and cultural projects  in destinations around the world

YAANA Ventures is proud to announce its membership in the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF), an international non-profit organization focused on funding on-the-ground conservation projects around the world. The ATCF provides members in the travel and outdoor industry an avenue to directly support projects that are critical to protecting the future of adventure travel.

“YAANA Ventures fully supports the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit in responsible tourism,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures. “Our membership of ATCF reinforces the ‘people and planet’ part of that commitment.”

ATCF Board Member, Shannon Stowell, who is also President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, welcomed YAANA Ventures, saying, “We’re thrilled that YAANA Ventures has chosen to join industry leaders in supporting the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund. As this initiative grows and unites us all in the ATCF cause, we believe we will make a positive impact. We applaud YAANA for having such vision.

ATCF members include adventure and outdoor organizations that have come together to protect international travel destinations.

“Without the conservation of these unique environments, cultures and communities, we risk losing the very experiences that we seek when we travel,” said Soraya Shattuck, ATCF Executive Director.

The adventure tourism industry is highly dependent on conserving the world’s natural and cultural resources. YAANA Ventures and ATCF members from across the globe have therefore united to help protect threatened communities, cultures and wild places.

Once a year, the ATCF awards grants to organizations seeking conservation funding. Grant recipients are nominated and voted on by members of ATCF. One hundred per cent of ATCF membership dues fund chosen conservation projects.

“The adventure travel community has the power, the resources, and the responsibility to make an incredible impact on the world,” said outdoor industry pioneer Steve Barker, Founder of Eagle Creek and ATCF Board Chair. “Through ATCF, companies around the globe unite their influence and passion to support organizations that protect, preserve and improve destinations, resources, and indigenous cultures so they’ll be around for years to come.”

Both non-profit and for-profit organizations, which may include conservation groups, indigenous people groups, tour operators, or accommodations, can receive project funding from ATCF. To learn more about the funding criteria, or to apply for a future ATCF grant, please visit the projects page on the ATCF website.  To learn more about joining ATCF and becoming a member organization supporting global conservation, visit adventuretravelconservationfund.org

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

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.

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