Founder & CEO Khiri Travel Group
Travel has been a passion since a solo bicycle trip around The Netherlands while only 11 years old. Working various jobs, doing everything from selling to delivering laid the foundation for an entrepreneurial future. Willem boarded his first flight to Jakarta; it was love at first sight for Asia. A job at a student travel organization was the first introduction to the travel industry: the connection was made between making a living and pursuing his passion for travel.
The move to Thailand came in 1987, the successful “Visit Thailand Year”. The early 90’s were an era for pivotal changes for the region and the opening of opportunities. Willem founded Khiri Travel in the end of 1993 with the vision of a one-stop travel company for the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
After obtaining a Foreign Investment License in 1999, Willem founded and built from scratch a jungle lodge on a stunning location in Southern Laos, overlooking the Tad Fane waterfalls and the Dong Hua Sao National Biodiversity Conservation Area. Tad Fane Resort has since been a pioneer for the development of tourism in the region.
The Khiri Group now includes B2B inbound services with 16 offices spread over Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. It has a dedicated US Sales Office in Boulder, Colorado. Khiri Voyages has been founded as an outbound B2C company for the Thai market, specializing in exclusive destinations around the world. The Khiri group has a dedicated charity arm: Khiri Reach supporting a growing number of Planet and People projects.
Willem is married and has two daughters. He speaks Dutch, English and Thai. He travels extensively to keep in personal touch with staff and clients, and is always looking for new business opportunities.