The Second FAM trip. Our second scouting visit to Flanders with Marco was also with a number of other great bicycle tour companies. Traveling and researching with us on this trip was Peter from Velo Classic, Melanie from Pure Adventures, Henk from Beercycling, and Michael from DuVine. While we all were creating different adventures we collaborated and brainstormed ideas to make sure our guests had the best experience possible. I cannot recommend any of their companies enough. They all due a great job to create the best adventures.
On this trip we were revisiting a number of places from the cycling perspective, with the help of Dries from Cycling in Flanders, and connecting the dots of the sights and going beyond just beer. Another part that made this so great was that we were going even deeper into many cities that we have already led tours. Henk and I brainstormed may things that make a beer holiday great and were able to come up with complimentary tours so our guests had unique experiences on both companies tours.
The customer service end of our business came to the front on many of our evening discussions. How could we as small companies set ourselves out from the big folks at Backroads and Trek Travel. What we all agreed upon was that it was in our ability to customize our trips and connect on a more personal level with our customers. Learning about our guests before the tour even begins and tweaking each adventure to match our guests is key.
One tool we discovered on this second FAM was the services of a mapping company named Route You. Route you is a Belgium based, but world wide, mapping service with a focus on cycling routes and trips. With the help of Route You we are able to customize the trips and create routes which steer you to off the beaten path sites and stories. They are able to be accessed by the public as well as tour companies and if you are cycling alone in Europe I would suggest you look into what they offer.
Through the process of scouting I think we have created three great trips in Belgium that can be done more than once and will give you a locals view of Belgian/Flemish culture, history and of course beer. Please take a look at these adventures on our website at the Belgium Tours page.
Cheers - Bob