In the deep jungle of Surinam, Boven Suriname, Danpaati River Lodge is situated. It supports regional healthcare and sustainable regional development. The sustainable lodge, Danpaati River Lodge, can host 50 guests. The lodge has been transformed from a basic to a mid level sustainable luxury resort during the years. The lodge experienced an increased occupancy rate and is self-supporting since 2007. The lodge is able to finance around 50% of the healthcare project. Both the lodge and the healthcare project are classified under Foundation Bonama. Bonama cooperates with 12 villages. It provides home care and runs family houses (a combination of child and elderly day care).
Tags:Integrated sustainable / region development / scale-up business / Surinam / tourism
100% Zomer was asked to become the interim director of Danpaati River Lodge and the connected health care project. 100% Zomer eventually led a total integrated sustainable transformation on several levels. In the lodge, in the healthcare in 12 villages and in the economy in the surrounding region.
When: January 2005- January 2007
Who: Foundation Bonama. The foundation was started in 1996 in cooperation with the board of Menzis (Dutch health insurance company) and Woonzorg Nederland (housing cooperation for the elderly). Roger van Boxtel was part of the board.
Why: The lodge suffered losses. The healthcare was inefficient in many ways. The local economy was underdeveloped. There was a lack of an overall integrated sustainable vision for the lodge and its position in the surrounding region. The relationship with and among the stakeholders was poor.
100% Zomer developed an integrated vision and a business and action plan for integrated sustainable transformation. On the level of the lodge, healthcare and the economy in the surrounding region. In cooperation with local and international stakeholders.
100% Zomer successfully co-implemented the vision and plans in two years time.
100% Zomer worked on conflict resolution between several stakeholders in the area and managed to establish a new fruitful cooperation.
100% Zomer increased the profits of the lodge. It became self-sufficient, commercially viable, in 2007.
100% Zomer improved the quality of the local healthcare, the lodge invested in. The staff became better trained and organized and worked more cost efficiently.
100% Zomer improved the quality of services in the lodge. The lodge personnel became better trained and organized. The team worked also more cost-efficiently.
100% Zomer supported and stimulated local sustainable initiatives and entrepreneurship, to be able to buy local. This concerned food and craft production and the development of a local offer of services. In a few years time the local money flow increased from 50% to 80%. We had this measured by our local accountant.
100% Zomer increased the level of sustainability of the lodge. The focus was on reducing and recycling waste and the use of solar energy. We also educated visitors on the rainforest and the cultural do’s and don’ts regarding the local communities.
The team of 60 employees, lodge and health care, worked together. Before they worked as separate entities, while cooperation had many benefits. Knowledge on topics as proper hygiene, cleaning and customer friendliness was shared.
The health workers became also trained as scouts. We asked them to spot quality crafts, products and services in the villages, to benefit our joint tourism product. They were more often in the village as our tourism employees and management.
100% Zomer held meetings with the board of directors of Menzis and Woonzorg Nederland in the Netherlands. They were part of the board of foundation Bonama. Meetings took place in Surinam and in the Netherlands 4 times a year.