If I am not behind the product, I cannot sell it. The logic is that simple. That was the reason I got fired once: I did not agree with undoable schedules. On the same year, I resigned from my tour guide job at a famous dutch attraction. Same argument.
While finalizing my thesis about sustainable tourism, I realized that my best tours, my most successful excursion with the best reviews were the ones that took the leap of faith to do something different: circularity, inclusion and diversity.
So I decided I was ready to go on my own. My business model involves time, dedication, and variety, and it is a challenging service to sell because I do not focus on the mainstream offers but the ones that make people really happy.
Guests see something online, or on magazines photos and want to experience that feeling of emotions, joy, uniqueness and satisfaction and in most of the cases they land in:
on traffic jams
making queues in tourist shops which do not sell local made products
and are pushed to hurry to go back to their hotel or cruise to get a meal.
You have to change that nightmare drill applying the doughnut economy principle. And the result is happiness for all, for the guests and for me.
Unfortunately corona came but as Ariana Huffington said: “Nothing should go back to normal, normal was not working. If we go back to normal, we lost the lesson and we should be able to do better”.
My company is the first sustainable tour operator in the Benelux. We show what is really the Dutch culture beyond clogs, windmills, or tulips. We let our guests live the real Dutch lifestyle.
In the doughnut economy principle: you should try to meet the needs of all within the planet, we act social and ecological, including public and private sectors. Alternative locations to visit even the crowded ones but on a different approach.
Most of all, I give a very clear guideline to my tour agents of what can be done and what can not. For example, people cannot do a bus tour around Amsterdam and get off here and there for a photo stop. You have to tell the truth.
Sustainable tourism is transparency, honesty and clarity. If everybody involved in the hospitality chain participates, everybody wins.
A happy guest becomes family, that is the way I see it and receive every guest on our tours.