Meet the Team

Paul Kennes, CEO

Co-founder and co-director of Horizons Nouveaux, a well-known Swiss tour operator active in the luxury travel industry for 20 years. Specialized in tailor-made cultural and adventure tours in Asia, Eastern Africa, South America and the Middle East, Horizons Nouveaux provides its services to up-market private clients but also to major travel brands as Kuoni.

The company also operates a branch office in Belgium. Paul lived for years in India, a country that became like a second home to him before starting Horizons Nouveaux. He spends about four months a year traveling abroad, tracking new trends and looking for new projects. He has a deep relationship network in the luxury hotel industry. Fond of hotels and design, he looks after the staging and design of all our camps.

Vincent Raisiere, Managing Director

Vincent has been working for 26 years in the travel industry. In Belgium in 1994, he founded his own travel agency active on North and South American destinations. In 2003, he sold his company and moved to Switzerland to join Horizons Nouveaux. He has travelled extensively across Asia, Middle East, North and South America. Vincent managed new products development and special events at Horizons Nouveaux for about 10 years. After standing temporarily as CEO of a French upmarket tour operator, he's now dedicating himself 100% to the development of Amazing Escapes. He supervises all the logistics and field operations.

Christian Pirker, Partner

Lawyer in Geneva, Christian joined the company in 2013 as a partner. He takes care of all we hate in this job, legal paperwork and contracts. He’s also a wise advisor on Amazing Escapes’ development strategy, trying to squeeze our crazy ideas into a legal framework, which sometimes surely gives him headaches.

As he is not a born adventurer, we’re working hard on his training. The two last projects we dragged him in, in Morocco and Bolivia, give us a reasonable hope that, sooner or later, he’ll be as much efficient on the ground as he is seating at his desk!

Marina Cardis, Designer

Marina has a natural gift for design. Drawing her ideas out of a exuberant imagination and realizing it with overactive energy, she succeeds in creating, with a few things, extraordinary atmospheres with a flawless taste. Her trick is the staging of the place. With the help of a few elements arranged here and there, landscape becomes an integrated part of camp’s design. Unfortunately, we have to share her talent with others, as she also designs private homes and hotels interiors as the Sala Lodge in Siem Reap and manages succesfully numbers of events in Switzerland each year.

John Lee, North America business development

After earning a Master’s degree in international management from Thunderbird and a Bachelor’s degree in finance from Colorado State University, John began his career as a stockbroker and corporate private equity money manager. He fulfilled various corporate finance roles for Coors, Microsoft and Intel corporations and transitioned to hospitality and real estate development in 2002. He gained extensive hospitality management experience as the Chief Financial Officer of a Vail valley resort in Colorado, USA. At the same time, he developed and managed a luxury ocean front resort in the Dominican Republic as President and Managing Director of the private equity LLP, before joining Amazing Escapes in 2015 on the Altiplano operation. John is focused on developing the North American luxury adventure travel market.

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After years of experience in the tourism industry, Paul and Vincent have developed a huge network among local operators and hotel brands. To the benefit of Horizons Nouveaux and Amazing Escapes, they track new hotels and experiential travel trends around the world.

Selecting the right camp spot, developing relationships with local communities to guarantee land access, finding reliable local teams are part of the skills Paul and Vincent acquired through past experiences. Along the way, they have gathered around them an international team of professionals in design, hotel management, food and beverage management, ground operations and infrastructure development, essential for a successful project.

Since 2008, they've been running major experiential travel events for high profile clients in Morocco, Oman, South East Asia and South America including a joint venture operation with Six Senses Zighy Bay in Musandam Peninsula.