Business & Finance

Kiwi Collection Welcomes Erik Wachtmeister to Advisory Board

JANUARY 18, 2008. The newest addition to the esteemed Kiwi Collection Advisory Board is Erik Wachtmeister, Chairman and Founder of aSmallWorld.net - the increasingly popular private online community that allows members to network more effectively with like-minded individuals. Wachtmeister joins the ranks of other prominent Kiwi Collection Advisory Board members, including Gamal Aziz (MGM Grand Hospitality), Sonu Shivdasani (Six Senses Group) and Matthew Upchurch (Virtuoso) to name a few. Kiwi Collection, a Web-based luxury travel resource (www.kiwicollection.com), is where discerning travelers go to find the world's best accommodations and insider travel advice.

"The Kiwi Collection welcomes Erik Wachtmeister to our Advisory Board with open arms," said Philippe Kjellgren, President of Kiwi Collection, Inc. and Mary Gostelow, Editor-in-Chief of WOW Travel. "His networking vision has garnered an impressive community of individuals who are keyed in to the best in world travel and who have their finger on the pulse of the next best destinations. We look forward to gaining insight with their membership base - and Erik's own travel expertise."

An invitation-only online community, aSmallWorld.net was created in 2004 by Wachtmeister and his wife Louise in order to establish a forum for wealthy individuals to share trusted opinions and information. Frequently described as "myspace for millionaires," the site offers travel suggestions, feedback, lively forum discussions, listings of events around the world, a personal messaging service, suggestions and user ratings for travel and restaurants, and city-based resources. Prior to establishing aSmallWorld, Wachtmeister founded Viking Internet, a UK-listed investment vehicle and served as the Web site's CEO after holding senior corporate finance positions with Ladenburg, Thalmann in New York and Los Angeles, Rothschild in New York, and Lehman Brothers in London and New York. He received his MBA from INSEAD in 1983, and his BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1977.

Coming Up In The September Online Hotel Business Review


Feature Focus
Hotel Group Meetings for 2015
As the economy continues to improve, hotels are finally luring back business travelers, including those who are participating in group meetings and conventions. According to The Global Business Travel Association, group travel spending has grown 5.3% to $117.1 billion in 2014, a figure that well exceeds previous expectations. Given that group business accounts for as much as 30-40% of total revenues for a hotel operation, this is welcome news indeed. Still, this is no time for complacency. Savvy hoteliers are incorporating new creative ideas into their operations in order to satisfy their clientele and to differentiate themselves for their competition, with the ultimate goal of making meetings easier, more comfortable and even more fun. The emphasis seems to be on making group meetings “less institutional” and “more residential”. One hotel chain has created meeting spaces that are more like lounges than standard conference rooms. Another offers its guests unusual food options like make-your-own trail mix stations and smoothie bars. Still another provides its guests with mobile apps that will let them make requests — from ordering coffee and food to changing the room temperature — without ever leaving the meeting room. Technological innovations are also of paramount concern as meeting planners are demanding that the latest innovations be available to attendees including universal wireless Internet access, videoconferencing capabilities, charging stations, and a secure protected environment in which to conduct proprietary business. Finally, some hotels are offering more breakout rooms in order to encourage smaller and more intimate interchanges among attendees after long group sessions throughout the day. The September Hotel Business Review will examine what some hotels are doing to facilitate this segment of their business and to meet the expectations of their guests.