We have start a travel company!
Are you going to start a travel company? In these times? Is that a wise thing to do? These are questions I regularly receive from people when I talk enthusiastically about our new plans. And I understand them in a period where travel organisations are collapsing. But still people, that is exactly what we have started: Bike Villas Travel! A travel organisation that organises extraordinary cycling holidays in your own Bike Villa at a prime location! A masterstroke or a chasse patate? ( Footnote 1)
May 2016 our adventure on Mallorca began with the signing of a long-term lease of villa Son Flora. A step we took on gut feeling. With common sense we set to work to make Son Flora a beautiful holiday villa. There was quite some work to do, but in a short time (2 months) we were ready to receive the first guests. From the beginning Son Flora was a success. The beautiful location, the homely feeling of the villa and our dedication and involvement ensure that we have received many satisfied guests (on Zoover a 9,6). The last 2 years Bike Villas Mallorca has been focusing specifically on cycling guests. With Son Flora and over 40 other cycling-friendly Bike Villas, we have managed to conquer a special place in the competitive cycling market on Mallorca in a short period of time. With Bike Villas Mallorca a solid foundation has been laid for a great future for Wies and me on Mallorca. But then Mr (or Mrs) Covid came along...
Cashing in on a crisis
Wies and I are not born entrepreneurs. We've always worked as salaried employees, just getting our salaries every month. Whether you do a good job or a bad job, a crisis or no crisis. No stress, no uncertainty. At the start of our adventure, we thought that a bomb attack at the airport in Mallorca would be our worse case scenario. Not knowing that there could also be something like a covid crisis... Our life consisted at once of ambiguity, doubt and stress. An unprecedented crisis that even brought us (temporarily) back to the Netherlands. Back to work as well as salaried employees, in order to be able to generate an income to survive. The need to stay under the covers and hide was certainly there. But that doesn't change a lot. We quickly adopted our positive action attitude. What do we want (to live on Mallorca) and what is needed for that? We have to cash in on this crisis. But how?
Working on a new dream
We are going to start a travel organisation in the Netherlands! With the Bike Villas Mallorca concept (a cycling holiday in a cycling friendly villa with the possibility to book extra services like bike rental, catering etc.) we are on the right track. Positive reactions from our cycling guests and more and more cycling bookings in our Bike Villas. The covid period shows an explosive increase in bike sales and experts in our market claim that the demand for holidays in villas is going to rise. That sounds promising, right?
I then discussed the idea of a travel organisation with various people inside and outside the cycling world. The reactions were predominantly positive. From 'would you do that' to 'good idea but stick to yourself' to 'great initiative'... From this very useful input, I contacted Martin Lukasse. Martin and I got to know each other through social media in 2018. Both of us had applied to become 'adventurers' for the well-known cycling magazine Fiets. In the end I was one of the lucky ones and Fiets followed me on my unforgettable bikepacking adventure from the Netherlands to Mallorca. Martin and I kept in touch and met each other for the first time live on Mallorca. It soon became apparent that we share a common passion and dream. A passion for cycling. I as the king of coffee rides and Martin as the master in taking on (impossible) physical/mental cycling challenges. Where Wies and I are already living our dream, it is also Martin's (and wife Susan's) dream to emigrate to Mallorca in a few years time. From this common bond we started to organise cycling holidays on Mallorca together. Martin in his role as cycling coach and Wies and I as facilitators. Both sides enjoyed this so much that it was a logical step for me to talk to Martin to see if a more intensive cooperation was possible. The result is that Martin, Wies and I are now working together on our (new) joint dream...
Bike Villas Travel
The past period, we have been working hard to establish Bike Villas Travel. It takes a lot of work to get it all sorted out! International entrepreneurship requires a lot of research, advice and, above all, common sense. I have sometimes wondered which special people come up with all these rules and regulations. Don't they have anything better to do? We cannot make it easier, we can make it more difficult... But we have reached the point where we can go live with Bike Villas Travel! We are very happy and proud of the result. We will continue to offer Bike Villas with services on Mallorca. But we are expanding with Bike Villa Travel packages in other beautiful cycling areas in Europe. We will start with South-Limburg (The Netherlands) and Ardennes. Next year, we want to expand to Luxembourg, Vosges, Pyrenees, Asturias and Tuscany. We are going for the extraordinary! Or as the English like to say: we saw when others zig!
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our first arrangements in South Limburg and the Ardennes, but we are ready and eager for the planned arrangements in Mallorca after the summer! Curious what Bike Villas Travel is and what we offer? On our new website Bike Villas Travel you will find all the information!
Will our new adventure be a masterstroke or a chasse patate? Time will tell. That we will go for the master stroke will not surprise anyone! And with your help, we are off to a flying start. More about this next week via our social media channels...
For the non cyclists: a chasse patate is the nightmare of every cyclist. You break away from the peloton to join the leading group. However, you get stuck halfway and don't make it. You are the figurative fool who has done all his efforts for nothing.