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WORLD’S FIRST LIVE BOOKING PLATFORM FOR SURF HOLIDAYS

Published by Olmo on 30 March 2021

Errant Surf and SurfaWhile team up to provide the first ever live booking platform for surf holidays. And there is plenty more to come, as there are plans to start offering kitesurf holidays and yoga retreats too in the nearby future. It would be well worth it to stay up to date with both companies that fall under the umbrella of Coconut Travel Collective. Despite – or maybe because of – the Covid-crisis, SurfaWhile and Errant Surf (since March 2020 they both are part of the Coconut Travel Collective, based in the city of Amsterdam) have developed a brand-new platform where customers can book the surf holiday that best matches their needs. What is it that they’ve done that is revolutionary and what makes these businesses rather successful? Co-owner of Coconut Travel Collective Olmo talks us through the latest of the platform.

So Olmo, tell us: what is the secret behind SurfaWhile?

‘’We’ve never had the idea of building a platform offering the widest possible choice of surf holidays. Instead, we have been continuously looking for partners with which we can work on a personal basis, from whom we know that the quality of their surf accommodation is up to certain standards and (in almost all cases) where we’ve been down for a visit ourselves too. Especially when focussing on Europe, we know that our offer (even if it totals only about 50 different surf camps) is wide enough to cater people that look for a deluxe option or rather something more budget-friendly. Furthermore there are options which suit guests ranging from families all the way to youngsters that are mainly looking for parties and we’ve got accommodations where you will sleep in basic tents on one hand of the spectrum to luxurious surf houses with infinity pools on the other hand – and much more.’’

He continues: ‘’to us it’s always been about that balance between being large enough but not becoming too big. On many of these other booking websites, due to the very extensive offer it’s honestly so hard to make up your mind, something that we try to avoid ourselves.’’

What is so revolutionary about your current platform?

Obviously these guys aren’t the first platform to book your surf holidays, so what’s different from some of the others? Olmo replies: ‘’With all the other platforms out there, you see that people can only book upon request, meaning their booking has to be approved. That used to be the case at our platform(s) too. However, due to the latest technology in collaboration with the booking software we are using, we can offer a live booking functionality to our clients, so that they are sure of their spots as soon as they’ve pressed that Book Now-button. This also saves a lot of hassle for our partner, as they can rely on the booking being blocked into their own system as well.’’

That does seem revolutionary indeed. What are your estimations for the remainder of this year?

‘’Well, it’s obviously hard to tell as a lot of things can still happen. However, when regarding the situation as it is at the moment in the countries that are most important to us at the moment (mostly Western-Europe for clients and South-West of Europe for destinations), our gut feeling would provide us with some optimism.’’

‘’Last year we saw that mainly the French coast was open to tourism throughout the summer. This year, countries like France, Spain and Portugal would very much like to receive tourists over the summer season – as we can only imagine. This, combined with the vaccination programs across countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Germany and several others countries, including the ones in Scandinavia, gives us high hopes of travel to commence towards mid or the end of May.’’

‘’The key-question is the one in regards to the accessibility of the covid-tests and we sincerely hope that e.g. Portugal, Spain and France will make these tests easily available. Besides the money-question, it has also to do with obtainability of the tests.’’

‘’And we, we will never get bored. At the moment we just do anything we can to further optimise our platforms and be as ready as we can to start welcoming the summer crowds and assist them in booking their summer surf holidays.’’ Thank you very much Olmo and we wish you and your team all the best this year. In case you are an accommodation and would like to know more about being listed on their platforms, have a look at Coconut Travel Collective.


What are the benefits for you to work with us?

Published by Olmo on 2 February 2021

Having your accommodation published on one (or more) of our platforms is going to provide you with several benefits. Because to us, a collaboration only is worth it, if it’s profitable to both you and ourselves. We’ve listed the most important benefits of working with us below

From our Amsterdam-based office, our team is ready at all times to assist you

1. we sell packages

Over the years we became specialists in promoting and selling packages. Whether it’s for surf accommodations or yoga retreats (among other accomodations offering an experience, besides the sleeping), our guests always show up with a booking that includes more than just sleeping. With all partners, the total sales value of our guests is higher compared to the direct sales our partners receive

2. we are experts

We believe that to both parties (the guests as well as the accommodation) it’s a vitality that there’s a match in terms of interests and offering. Therefore we’ve focussed our platforms fully around the possibilities of bringing across the experience the accommodations offer. Over the years, we’ve gained a thorough understanding of the things people want to know when booking their holidays

Besides the information provided by the partners, we have an extensive knowledge on the products that are being offered across our platforms ourselves. Whether it’s about ktiesurfing, yoga or regular surfing (among several other topics), our team knows what they are talking about

3. the personal relation matters to us – a lot!

From many of our partners, we’ve heard that they feel like just a tiny component in a larger entirety when regarding other sales-platforms they work with. We really like to work on a rather personal basis. We are not the type of company that will reach up to a 1000 different partners. We much rather have a fairly smaller sized network of partners, with whom we all maintain a solid, professional, personal but fun relationship

4. your name is out there

We believe in transparancy and therefore all our partners are being mentioned by name on our platforms. We do not make use of any construction where it’s unclear to the booker what they are actually booking. Your name and location will be openly communicated

5. get additional sales

The sales you will generate through our platforms are normally additional bookings. These are bookings – as we’ve noticed – of clients you would normally not reach using your own channels. Therefore, clients you get through us are all additional revenue to you and your business, easily justifying the commission you will be paying for that

6. increase your presence on specific markets

Originally we’ve started our business on the Dutch-speaking market (the Netherlands and about 50% of Belgium). Up until today this still is one of our strongest markets. It won’t surprise you that the Dutch and Belgians really are into surfing and are into traveling, making them rather interesting potential clients. Other markets where we are well experienced are the UK-market and several regions of Scandinavia

7. a large social media reach

When combining our social media channels, incl. the Facebook of Errant Surf, the Instagram of SurfaWhile among others, as well as the email addresses we’ve gathered over the year, we proudly can say we can reach out to a community of about 50.000 people. And this will help your organization too, as it enables us in several ways to market the experience you are offering. And that’s going to get you bookings, for sure


Why our platforms are the ones you want to work with

Published by Olmo on

We, Coconut Travel Collective, are on a mission and we believe that you should want to be part of it. In this article we tell you why.

1. we operate several platforms

Coconut Travel is mostly known because of our platforms Errant Surf and SurfaWhile. But there’s much more to come. It’s our goal to have a customer book the accommodation or experience that best fits their needs, wants and wishes. However, in reverse the match also should be present. We fully believe that an accommodation can operate in it’s best possible fashion if the clients that are visiting are the right ones.

Our mission is to find that perfect match between a customer and an accommodation – for both parties

Coconut Travel Collective

Therefore we are making use of several websites and overview pages, all focused on certain niches. In that way, people will get a much better understanding of what is going on and what the experience to be expected is going to be like.

2. we help you in having the best possible profile

We have always believed in the principle of having the most beautiful shop, people will stop anyway and come in to buy. We find it truly important that all pages on our platforms look beautiful, sexy and are consistent. And we are here to help you in achieving your own version of it.

To us – as we know – it’s most important that you bring across the experience you are offering at your accommodation. Almost all accommodations that are represented through our platforms offer an experience. However, through other booking channels used, that experience remains rather unexposed. And that’s where we distinguish ourselves from the rest.

As soon as you are signed up to our platform, you can access our internal system where you will find many tips on how to make your profile stand out!

It is in our interest that your own page(s) is going to look nice – of course – but we also want it for you. We are not interested in getting up accommodations that aren’t looking pretty and aren’t going to sell. If that’s the case, the collaboration is likely not going to be as much fun as when the sales are actually skyrocketing – and that’s in the end what matters most in life – right – to have fun?!

3. how can I sign up to your profiles?

We are very excited that you are still reading and we are looking forward to exploring the options of working together. A first step would be leaving your details at our Register your Accommodation-page. We will get in touch with you in order to explain the next steps


Should you use a booking system for your accommodation?

Published by Olmo on

Through our platforms Errant Surf and SurfaWhile we have been approached by loads of accommodations that were looking for extra visitbility online. Our platforms seemed very interesting and appealing to them and it could well be a solution for generating more bookings. And that’s a valid thought!

Is a booking system worth it?

Well, in the early years of our platforms, when the number of bookings we’ve generated were still considerably low, we still did our bookings and reservations by hand. And so did our partners. The great benefit is that a person looks at every booking and thus mistakes are much easier to recognize. However, the downside is that it takes a lot of time and manpower.

Ouch, that’s a lot of work!

In the process of growing, we figured out that there had to come a solution for u – we just simply couldn’t keep up with the way of working, given the ever increasing number of bookings. By not using a booking system but processing every detail of a booking manually, we were facing a number of disadvantages:

  • Every name, date of birth, surf level and dietary requests had to be communciated by hand. This would either go through an email or a spreadsheet
  • The booking details had to be typed up by hand and sent over across to our partners. The risk of making a small mistake always was present, leading us to double and triple check all bookings
  • And as soon the details of a booking (e.g. an extra person, additional surf lessons or a last minute dietary request) would change, a new email or message is required

Wouldn’t there be a solution to this?

There should be solutions to this – we surely wouldn’t be the only ones facing these problems. And even if it would cost us some money, we were convinced it was going to save a lot of time. Another benefit, as we believed, would be that the information regarding a certain booking between us and the partner would be much less sensitive to errors.

After our first 3-4 years doing everything by hand, we started to adopt a booking system that really has made our lives easier. The booking tool we are using is especially designed around promoting packages, which is accounting for the large majority of our total sales.

One of the challenges we are still facing are all the accommodations that stubbornly stick to their spreadsheets. We can only imagine this conservative approach to be due to the potential costs, the fear of changing or implementation or just a lack of understanding of how this can benefit your system.

A booking system is certainly worth it. It is going to cost you a bit more than your free-version spreadsheet but it’s going to save you a lot of time and other resources. Moreover, it’s so much less sensitive to errors and that’s well worth some money.

There are so many booking systems, where to start?

By far most accommodations nowadays really aim at promoting packages. The more you sell, the more you earn – simply put. And we cannot agree more to this. The booking engine we use has just that. You can always get in touch with us to ask for our experiences (olmo@surfawhile.com) and we could potentially even discuss the possibilities of getting your accommodation live on our platforms.


Welcome to Coconut Travel Collective

Published by Olmo on 9 December 2020

Hola and welcome to Coconut Travel Collective

Most people will regard us as a booking platform which allows you to generate more bookings for your accommodation. And on one hand, we are not going to deny this, as generating bookings is what we do. However, we believe we go much further than the ‘regular booking platforms’ (of which you might be working with some).

We truly believe in personal relationships – we basically know all partners we work with – and providing the best quality. Both to our partners as well as to our clients. So the questions is: what can we do for you? Through our platforms, including Errant Surf and SurfaWhile, we generate bookings for surf camps, yoga retreats, co-living spaces and many more types of accommodations.

Let this be the start of a great journey together! We believe it’s vital that you can communicate the experience that makes your accommodation unique and our platforms enable that. Moreover, there are also many other features we’ve enabled that differentiate us from others.

”SurfaWhile has become a partner and family member of the entire Gota team!”

Ricardo Carvalho, Gota d’Agua Surf House – Portugal

We very much would like to invite you to get in touch with us and to find out if there’s mutual interest in a collaboration. You can do so by leaving your details at our Register your Accommodation-page or simply drop us an email at olmo@surfawhile.com.

We are very much looking forward to hearing from you soon

Olmo & Hans and the rest of the team!