As travel restrictions are lifted and the UK adjusts to a new normal post-pandemic, many holidaymakers who have missed the sun, beaches, and relaxation of a break abroad are clicking ‘book’ on escapes away. Family owned and run, Ocean Club Holidays, are excited to see the end of the travel bans, welcoming back loyal guests and new travellers.
Ocean Club Holidays started in 1982, when the Van Leeuwen purchased a property in Lanzarote and had decided to rent it out. At the time of buying the first property, Puerto del Carmen was still a fairly small Spanish town and the family’s property empire grew with the town as it gradually become a tourism hotspot. Within a few years, the family owned a few apartments in the area and the Van Leeuwen brothers began to work with their mother, gradually and organically growing the holiday home and rental business. Now, Paul, Mark, and Alex Van Leeuwen are joint shareholders, managing over seventy holiday accommodation properties in Lanzarote and Cape Verde together.
In the beginning, the business thrived by offering an all-inclusive service that also sold visitors flights.
“We are very lucky that, as brothers, we are very close, and we get on very well. It’s quite a unique dynamic, we pretty much agree on everything when it comes to the business, and we trust each other implicitly, which makes life so much easier.”
Ocean Club Holidays is a vertically integrated, managing all the properties, cleaning, maintenance, and hospitality staff in-house. The business doesn’t involve third-party cleaning companies to take care of their properties; instead, they have a staff team of twenty-five individuals that ensure the company’s high standards are carried out and that has helped create a community within Ocean Club’s clientele.
“We know a lot of our clients; we get a higher repeat of customers than bigger accommodation businesses because the company was born out of the desire to create a ‘club’ for people to feel part of a holiday community. We greatly enjoy welcoming familiar faces back.”
After the damaging impact of 2020 and the unsteady, unreliable nature of travel in 2021, the business has started to see a return of the usual holidaymakers and are excited about the positive prospects of 2022. The self-contained nature of Ocean Club’s villas and apartments give their visitors a safer, less populous accommodation option.
“We’re looking at different circumstances going into 2022, with many people getting vaccinated and taking the right precautions to keep themselves, and others, safe so we believe the holiday and tourism industry as a whole will begin to stabilise.”
Having built up their property empire over the business’ nearly forty years of trade, the van Leeuwen brothers have a wealth of experience growing their company, taking risks, investing in locations and people. At the helm of the Oceans Club Holidays brand for decades, the family have learned a lot of leadership lessons, the most important of which is trusting the team of people around you and that as a business owner, you must learn to delegate and give your employees responsibilities to free up your time for the more critical tasks.
“The landscape has changed so much but like many young business owners, in the beginning, you will try to take on too much and do everything yourself. Maintain your work-life balance. Delegating will improve your business because you are managing your own workload in a healthy way, making you more flexible and available to give your business your full attention.”