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: Demand is Trending Up
Corporations and businesses are once again renewing their investments in people, strategic planning, and training and development. As a result, all indicators point to 2016 being a robust year for the hotel group meetings business. Group demand is strong and rates, especially during peak periods, are trending up. Still, hotels must continue to evolve to meet the changing expectations of group meeting planners and their clients. There are several trends and factors that are driving decision-making which planners have identified as being essential to the process. Though geographic location and room rates continue to be the most important factors when selecting a host property, food and beverage choices are becoming increasingly influential. Planners understand the value of first-class culinary options as these are often used to facilitate networking experiences. Another critical factor is the availability of sufficient bandwidth for high-speed wired and wireless connectivity to the internet. In addition, in an effort to eliminate unsightly and unwieldy power cords, planners are requesting the installation of mobile-device charging stations. These portable charging stations (which do not require devices to be plugged in) can be conveniently placed in common areas or directly in meeting rooms. Finally, there is a greater emphasis on teambuilding activities that are intended to challenge groups, and bring them closer together. Some hotels are offering scenic walking trails, GPS-aided scavenger hunts, kayaking into secluded coves or rollerblading on oceanfront boardwalks, among many other recreational activities. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group business and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.