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.