Newly-created YAANA Ventures, which invests in, advises and manages responsible travel and hospitality companies, has taken a stake in Grasshopper Adventures, which provides high quality bicycle tours in Asia.
YAANA Ventures CEO Willem Niemeijer signed the agreement with Grasshopper Director Adam Platt-Hepworth in Cambodia on 23 March.
The aim of the partnership is to expand Grasshopper, which currently runs bicycle trips in 15 Asian countries and handles roughly 17,000 visitors per year. As with all YAANA ventures, YAANA will support Grasshopper through investment, managerial expertise, marketing support and human resource training.
Grasshopper has offices in Mandalay, Bagan, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Saigon, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Its bicycle trips range from night rides in Bangkok to multi-day overland cross-border journeys in Indochina. Grasshopper also leads pioneering trips to destinations such as Bhutan, Japan and Uzbekistan.
After signing the deal, Niemeijer said that Grasshopper and YAANA were ideal partners due to “a shared vision and belief in responsible tourism which drives a commitment to authentic local travel.”
He added: “We were attracted to Grasshopper due to their focus on quality. This comes through in their belief in empowered ownership, frequent staff training, and their regularly renewed fleets of bicycles, all of which results in a superior guest experience.”
Platt-Hepworth said that Grasshopper prides itself on providing bike trips for a diverse range of clients. Cyclists’ ages have ranged from 5 to 75 since the company was founded in 2004.
“Whether it’s a family with young children visiting the Mekong region, or pioneering trips to destinations such as Mongolia or Uzbekistan, we make sure guests have real and immersive experiences,” said Platt-Hepworth.
In addition to Grasshopper Adventures, YAANA Ventures also partners with GROUND (community development for student and business teams), Anurak Community Lodge (an eco-resort in southern Thailand), Banteay Chhmar Tents in Cambodia, and award winning DMC, Khiri Travel.