The image of luxury hotels conjures the image of glamorous cities spanning the globe – New York, Paris, Tokyo – but Swiss Entrepreneur and Conservationist, Pierre-André Krüger, imaged an unexpected addition to that list: the Colombian Amazon. On June 15th, Krüger sat down for a Zoom session with inquiring GSM students to explain his innovative project, Nomad Lodges, and the business philosophies that have guided the endeavor for the past 7 years.
The idea goes back more than a decade. Krüger, a global travel enthusiast, identified a demand from seasoned travelers for comfortable accommodations in exotic locations. He spent 20 years surveying South America conducting 150 inspection trips to identify the perfect location. The first iteration of Nomad Lodges is situated in Colombia, bordering Brazil and Peru, the site sits among 300,000 hectares of National Park.
Accessing the site is no small feat, guests must fly from their home nation into one of the three bordering countries, then take a short flight to Leticia at the southern tip of Colombia, where a host will guide them to the Amazon River for a two-hour boat ride upriver to the Hotel. This creates an air of authenticity and exclusivity. Krüger explained the relationships he has built to make this experience possible.
Partnering with the Aticoya, an association of the three native tribes in the area, Nomad Hotels provides twice-daily excursions with expert guides, designs their menus on local agricultural offerings, and even provides training to the populace which staff the hotels. Much of this is accomplished by leveraging an international network of professionals. Business models and management staff come from highly ranked schools of hospitality, namely Ecole Hotelière de Lausanne, while medical support is supplied from a partnership with the local hospital near Nomad’s corporate headquarters in Geneva.
During the presentation, Krüger was well prepared for students’ questions, providing thought-out and mission-driven insights into issues like security, supply-chain logistics, and revenue management. Students and Staff alike appreciated the opportunity to hear about the unique venture.