Astrid Arnst Amstour

Doelen needs just half a word, that provides carefree transportation for my clients.

After having worked for a Japanese tour operator for almost 25 years, I have now been working for Amstour Holland for almost 10 years. When the European branch of this tour operator was discontinued, I started working for Amstour in a small team of four people.

Amstour Holland is an Incoming Destination Management Company and is engaged in inbound tourism for domestic and foreign travel organizations, agents, (sea) cruise companies, meeting, conference and incentive organizers and the Dutch business community. Our specialism is organizing tailor made programs for our business relations. This varies from reception and transfers to/from airport or station, to hotel bookings and excursions with a tourist and/or business content. We are also available to our clients 24/7.

When I started here, my task was to plan the transfers and Meet & Greet at Schiphol of the river cruise passengers. River and sea cruises are booming business nowadays and handling them is our speciality. As Amstour continued to grow, other colleagues now handle the handling of river cruises and I took over the ad hoc group bookings and FIT bookings (individual customer). This market has also grown enormously and I now work together with a colleague in the Groups and FIT Department.

As long as I work at Amstour, we have always accommodated the transport of our ad hoc groups, to our satisfaction, at Doelen . I enjoy working with Doelen , because Doelen is a somewhat smaller coach company, with which I personally have a very good relationship. We know what we have to offer each other and that's why half a word is all we need. I also give feedback about the driver or bus if there is something to be said about it, both positive and negative. In case it is negative, which fortunately almost never happens, I notice that Doelen immediately takes action on it. Something can always go wrong, but as a customer I think it's very important that something is done about it.

Of course, I also pass on the positive messages, because I think that a driver is also entitled to a compliment!

Bert coach driver

Work & Private, at Doelen a great combination.

I am Bert, 58 years old and already four years working as a coach driver at Doelen.

As a child, I was sometimes asked what I wanted to become later. My standard answer was always: police, firefighter and bus driver. And it's unbelievable; they all came true.

From 1984 worked for the uniform service of the police in the centre of Amsterdam for about 23 years. After this, together with my wife I started a secondment company which grew to 35 employees and extinguished many fires. Due to the banking crisis of 2008, our company shrunk considerably and fortunately we kept it that way. I was given time for other things.

When I took our daughter to the bus for her vacation, I had a nice conversation with her driver. It became clear to me: I could fulfill one more wish and got my bus driving license. During the job interview at Doelen, it felt good right away and I knew that I would feel right at home there.

Quality and service orientation as important spearheads, without losing sight of the social aspect.

There, my third wish was fulfilled. Driving with the big stuff. Due to changing destinations and groups, enough variety and with my flexible part-time contract I can easily combine this with my own business.

I hope to drive you to your destination soon!

Henk coach driver

My work is my hobby, that makes me happy!

I started my working life on a tugboat in IJmuiden and became a captain there. But the ships I had to get into port became too big for me and I switched to driving a coach.

I come from the era of 'double scrambling' so you can understand that I have seen a lot of development to the comfort of today. In those days, when a good road map was indispensable, I often drove around Europe with Chinese clients. So if you asked me to go to a Chinese restaurant in Rome or Paris, I could drive there.

I've also been to Russia many times, but that was quite a dangerous thing to do. A lot of police checks and you always had to pay to get through. Also hours of waiting at the border was part of it, and I had had enough of that at one point.

Because Doelen was known not to drive very far, I went to them. I have never regretted it, because it is a fine company. The good thing is that everything is negotiable. A solution is always found. Even a present on your birthday and at Christmas breakfast. That's great!

The most beautiful trip of my life was in 1994. Then I was allowed to drive around Canadian resistance fighters in Normandy and the Netherlands for three weeks. Of course it was an honour to drive these people and because of the special festivities I had for example President Clinton in the bus. We were also able to bring a search for an old love to a good end. We were able to reunite a Canadian (John, of course) with his Dutch war love after a lot of searching! That does something to you.

Jannette coach and taxi driver

At Doelen every day is different. What more could you want!

I've been working at Doelen for about five years now. So you can say that I'm familiar with all elements of transport, because I first worked for the Navy and Air Traffic Control. Because my work there was automated, I continued to look for a job that suits me as a real people person.

That's why I chose to retrain as a coach driver. I think it's great to do, because it's a challenging profession. With 'big' driving through the most beautiful landscapes combined with the service you provide to your guests.

Because Doelen also has buses for up to 28 people, we can drive to places you would otherwise never be able to go. Like special places in inner cities and narrow country roads.

In this way you also come into contact with different types of customers. With 'large' it's about transport of school children, orchestras, people for day trips to congress participants. With 'small' it is often about VIP transport of small groups. I can give you two nice examples. For example, I drove a group of engineers from Chile to a KLM hangar. There the engine of the Boeing 737 was technically discussed. Mighty interesting!

But also once a whole week a Europatour done with a foreign newlyweds couple. They took the whole family on their honeymoon through Europe. Starting from the wedding location in the Netherlands and ending in Switzerland. Super cool! I slept at the same location. From a luxury B&B to a castle. It couldn't go on. Those are wonderful experiences!

Every day is different and surprising, together with the changing working hours I feel like a fish in the water at Doelen !

Jeroen van Ark Ovation Holland DMC

Flexibility, that's the word they invented at Doelen .

Ovation Holland DMC is part of Ovation Global DMC.
I worked there as a team manager and it is great fun to work with such a passionate team to achieve great results in the DMC industry. Because of their local familiarity, the maximum is made out of meeting programmes.

Ovation is an organisation that is specialised in relieving business customers of the burden of events and congresses. Ovation works mainly from the Amsterdam region, because the location near Schiphol Airport ensures that we can arrange these kinds of activities perfectly.

It does not matter how big or small these events and congresses are and what needs to be facilitated. From the moment the participants land at Schiphol until they leave again, they make sure they are pampered and that they can look back on a successful event with an optimal result.

Due to COVID-19, for example, they were forced to organise a large medical congress virtually.

It was surprising to see that the reach was much greater and that many more people registered than at the physical conference.
It is a totally different experience, because networking from your living room is very difficult, but for the content this way still fulfilled the need. In the future, they certainly expect a larger role for digital components, but they believe that for many events the physical presence is a determining success factor.

For a major customer, the focus is on logistics. Around 1,500 participants need to be transported at the right time between Schiphol Airport, the event location, 15 different hotels and various dinner locations.

For these intensive logistics a partner with optimal local knowledge is a must and Ovation Holland found this in Doelen. I had a fixed contact there, so things could be discussed and arranged in no time. The location near Schiphol Airport and the 24/7 accessibility complete the logistics picture. And as far as flexibility is concerned, it's all right there, because I think they invented that word!

Ovation Holland

Leneke Guide

A driver from Doelen? Then have a nice day!

My father was a boatman here in Amsterdam. That's how I came into contact with tourism and started training to be a tourleader. After this I started as a 20 year old in Germany. There you could already start at that age, while it was very difficult here. From there I travelled through Europe for a number of years, mostly with Americans.

But Amsterdam kept on moving and I went back to 'my city' to guide groups from Germany. But because I used to work as an au pair in Paris and I also started to learn the Italian language, I also got to guide groups from France and Italy. Learning Italian was an excellent decision, because that's how I got to know my husband. He was tour leader of a group of Italians I was the guide for and a good reason to refine my Italian a bit!

I've been a guide in Amsterdam for over 30 years and I think it's great to do. My favourite tour is to tour Noord-Holland with about 30 guests and show them the special places. I really like Holland at its best, with the windmills, the cheese-maker, the dikes and of course Amsterdam. There is so much to tell about that! Unfortunately it's getting more and more difficult to guide in Amsterdam, because of all the measures that are being taken to reduce tourism there. But of course a tour Rotterdam - The Hague is also great fun!

I am often hired by clients for larger assignments for a fixed tour. Then I work together with other guides and at the same time we arrange several tours for which guests of for example a cruise ship have signed up.

But as a freelancer I also like to work with smaller groups that have booked me individually. That's a lot of fun to do, because then I make sure that the programme is really tailored to the group.

Apart from the facts you have to tell as a guide of course, I find it very important that the group has a good time and that there is also something to laugh about. And whether it's in Dutch, English, German, French or Italian, I always succeed!

Through my clients I came into contact with Doelen. Nice drivers, who work well together, are service-minded and seem like a large group of friends. If you see them coming, you just know it will be a fun day. It's also the little things that do it, such as the fact that the driver gets out and accompanies the guests when boarding and disembarking. I think that's important. If I know in advance that I am working with Doelen , then I am already looking forward to the cooperation.

Leo Limousine driver

Personal Touch, that's what it's all about.

I have been working as a taxi and limousine driver at Doelen for over 25 years. I remember very well that I applied to Mr. van Wijk a long time ago and had no experience whatsoever as a driver. After a good conversation I was hired, I could start right away and ended up in this special little world.

At Doelen we usually transport customers from the so-called 'higher segment' and I think that the service you offer as a driver should be in line with that. I prepare every ride well and still feel a healthy tension.

Of course it is a tragedy when a visit to a sight is expected and upon arrival it turns out that it is closed (fortunately never happened to me). Or on the way to an open air location you are ambushed by storms. In that case you are expected to have an alternative that meets the wishes of your client.

In all these years, of course, a lot of experience and a lot of different people transported. From top artists, DJ's, Sheiks, businessmen to families and tourists who came to visit the Netherlands. My passion lies in guiding tourists and making sure they have an unforgettable time in Holland. The rides where your customer sits down and says: "So Leo, what are we going to do today" are the best rides. I try to show sights that are just a little bit different than expected. For example to a beautiful windmill in the polder where there are no tourists, instead of to the Zaanse Schans, and let the customer experience a personal touch.

This is different for business customers. Then it is my job to bring them to their destination as comfortably as possible and pick them up again.

I can write a book of everything I've been through, but one ride has made an extra impression on me. I was the driver of a family in which someone had died. There were family members from all over the world, which I picked up from Schiphol Airport and I was their regular driver for a few days. They even asked me if I wanted to take pictures during the funeral. Then you experience a lot of emotion and it is important that you take on the role that is expected of you. One of the many special experiences.

The best compliment you can get is that next time the customer calls Doelen again for a ride and even better if they ask for Mister Leo!

Maarten Coordinator / Coach and taxi driver

1,500 guests moved smoothly within the hour. That's a kick!

After training as a teacher, I realised that this was not what I was cut out for. And because I had come across work as a coach driver during my secondary schooling, I thought it would be a good job. I started with small trips in the Western Docklands of Amsterdam to gain experience, and gradually went on to drive further and further via various coach companies. As a result, I visited many countries and beautiful cities at a young age.

Because I have a passion for winter sports, I had an appointment that I rode the coach in summer and was a ski instructor in Austria in winter. I did that for years and that's how I developed great local fame there. Winter sports trips as a driver/tour guide to Austria came within my reach and in this way I was able to combine hobby and work.

As a driver, you are also an interrogator and you are expected to solve it all. For instance, I once had to change a flat bus tire in the middle of nowhere in Lithuania and had to take corrective action between arguing passengers. But on long journeys, which by the way are wonderful to do, there is also a disadvantage and that is that you are away from home for a long time. So with the arrival of love, it was time to see how I could do that.

At Doelen I got the opportunity to make some shorter rides and I started there as a driver. In recent years more and more work came to Doelen , where large groups of people have to be transported. Like at large conferences and training weeks of large companies. Then you soon talk about numbers of 500 to 2000 people. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it is important that a coordinator for such an event is appointed from Doelen . And because we were going to transport groups like this more and more often, I was asked if I wanted to do that as one of my activities. I've been doing that for a couple of years now and sometimes I still drive in between.
That combination is super fun.

You notice that the client likes to have a fixed contact person with experience in the work. This way not only the customers, but also the drivers have the right information. It's always a thrill to see that all those people arrive at their destination smoothly and quickly. Then we certainly have honour from our work!

Marciano Coach and taxi driver

I've found my place!

I'm someone from the practice and I'm when it could work. I've really done all kinds of things as a driver for the ambulance. As a young boy, you come into contact with all the suffering in the world. I thought that was pretty intense! Then you think: "How grateful you must be if you are in good health yourself!"

But at one point I started working in a car paint shop. At the bottom of the ladder I started sanding sheet metal on trucks. But I really liked that spraying and my boss gave me the opportunity to learn the trade of car spraying. Apparently I had a feeling for it, because I was allowed to make beautiful work with it. Unfortunately, the company got into heavy weather.

So I looked further and got the opportunity to work on the scheduled service at the GVB in Amsterdam. I did that for a number of years, but I missed the adventure which I think I would find on a coach. That's why I took the plunge and applied for a job as a coach driver.

I am very happy that I ended up at Doelen ; a warm multicultural company with great colleagues. You also get the opportunity to drive further than the Benelux if you like. I immediately got the confidence to drive to Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France, for example. Tours to winter sports also provided the necessary adventure.

That's why I really feel at home at Doelen and it seems that all the different work I've done has contributed to making me feel so comfortable.

I've found my place!

Marianne Koeckhoven Agri Experience

It feels familiar at Doelen, my guests are in good hands there.

I have been a tour operator since 1999, specialising in visits to agricultural and livestock farms.

Because I am married to a farmer and come from an agricultural family, I was familiar with these sectors. These companies are proud of their product and I noticed that they were quite open to receive visitors and to give an insight into their activities. But these visits were actually not well arranged. Opportunities for a group to visit, for example, combinations of different companies were rarely offered.

I think these sectors deserve a professional approach for this kind of visits, because the Netherlands is an important global player and, together with Canada and Israel, is one of the world's top agricultural sectors. For example, we work with drones and GPS for precision agriculture and the world can really learn something from us about seed breeding and organic agriculture.

The Netherlands is known around the world for its open culture where people like to share knowledge and do so in different languages. Combined with excellent accessibility, the Netherlands is therefore an excellent place to visit agricultural companies. That is why I started approaching agricultural companies at the time and suggested that we take a more professional approach to the visits and arrange it for them.

I make sure, for example, that the companies are visited by people with a professional interest. Because I regularly visit companies that normally keep their doors closed, I offer something really unique. Also because of my network with great diversity, I can deliver custom work and I can say that I am unique in the Netherlands.

For the transport of our visitors I have been working for years with Doelen. I like the fact that Doelen is an easily accessible family business and they have half a word enough to make the right offer. The multi-day study tour, for example, is an assignment that I request from Doelen . They know what I expect and deliver. Because I've been working with Doelen for years, there came a time in the past when I tried another coach company, but I didn't like it anyway.

So back to the trusted Doelen, because then my guests are in good hands!

Peter Winter Wintours

Trust, that's what it's all about. It's all right at Doelen!

Due to circumstances at my then employer, I decided 10 years ago to fulfill my long cherished wish to become a coach driver. But as my own boss!

After consultation with my wife Annemiek, I made the decision. This meant that I had to get my business papers, no less than six diplomas. At the age of 55 I had to get used to that again, but I noticed that a lot is possible, as long as you are driven to realize your dream.
When the papers arrived, we saw a nice bus in Susteren (Limburg) via Google.

After a test drive, I bought my first bus.
When I drove past the terrain of Doelen , I saw that it was always busy there. Often the whole terrain was empty because all the buses were on their way. I always had the feeling that I wanted to belong there. So after buying my bus I took the plunge and went to Doelen . I walked into Angela's house with the words: "Good morning, I am Peter and I have a bus and I would like to help you or drive for you". Angela looked at me and my bus and the next day I drove for Doelen.

Why it's nice to work with Doelen I can best illustrate with an example that is a bit painful for me. On the first day of our collaboration I had bad luck with my bus. I was standing in the middle of a junction in Amsterdam, completely stuck with a bus full of Italians. I then phoned Doelen and the replacement transport and the mechanic were arranged immediately.

In the end it turned out to be not too bad and the problem was solved quickly. With lead in my shoes I called Angela the next day, assuming that this would be the end of our short cooperation. But Angela indicated that she didn't work like that and gave me a second chance. We are now nine years on. Trust is the basis of our fine cooperation!

After a few years my business grew by 100% and a second bus was added. If I want to buy a newer or bigger bus, I always come out with Angela to take over one from Doelen . Then I know what I'm buying and I keep driving in the colors of Doelen . That way we form a unit to the customer.

For four football clubs I transport the first team. But also school trips, excursions, family outings etc. we provide. For example, we also drive all school trips and excursions for the Veenlanden College from Mijdrecht and Vinkeveen. Because of the large numbers I can't save this with my own two buses. That is why I work a lot together with other, larger coach companies.

I may be a small entrepreneur, but together with my wife Annemiek we think big!

Wintours Mijdrecht - The Tour Fagnes
T: 0297-778600

Tuija HEX Travel

I can see my own passion and drive at Doelen.

I bumped into the love of my life during a winter sport in Austria and moved from Sweden to the Netherlands for that love. I started working in the Netherlands at a DMC / incoming tour operator and noticed that there was a great need for a contact in the Netherlands who spoke the Scandinavian languages. When the opportunity arose, I literally started HEX Travel in my attic room in 1997, specialising in travelling from Scandinavia and Finland to the Netherlands. That was a hit, because when I informed my network about this, it was an explosion of registrations from both companies and individuals who wanted to visit the Netherlands.

After six months I was able to hire an employee (our first employee). Because of the passion for our work and service at the highest level, HEX Travel has continued to grow into a specialist in mainly business visits of Scandinavian companies and other group visits to the Netherlands. For example, you can think of architects who are interested in visiting the floating homes in Amsterdam or waterworks in Zeeland. But we also organise trips for senior citizens to the Keukenhof. Our clients are fully taken care of, from the moment they land at Schiphol Airport until they leave again.

In order to increase customer opportunities and optimise visits to Europe, HEX Travel has joined forces with nine other Scandinavian DMCs in different countries as European Quality Agents (EQA). This enables us to offer 23 destinations and brings together the power of local familiarity.

The collaboration with Doelen dates back to 2010. I met the director Angela and we immediately had a click. I recognized the same passion and drive for our profession. That's why I switched to Doelen for the transport of our customers and we've been working together with full satisfaction for 10 years now. Doelen has been a reliable partner all that time. Always well in time for departure, a nice clean coach and a fine driver. What more could you want as an organisation!

HEX Travel W:
Girth 06'' T: +31-20-422 68 05
1016 AB Amsterdam M:

Anita Commercial employee

Resting point in all the frenzy, that's how I see myself.

I originally come from the travel industry, where I had a commercial position in a travel agency. Due to circumstances, I decided to post my CV on a job site and see what news would come my way. I soon received a phone call from Angela van Wijk. She was looking for a commercial employee for Doelen with a background in the travel industry. I found that a challenge!

So I went with my high heels and everything that goes with them to Doelen for the job interview and came in to the garage with clickclick on my heels. Everybody was there with tires and big busses on the bridge. Hustle and bustle of importance and so typical for a coach company. I was referred to the office and the first thing that went through my head was that those heels really weren't a good idea here. I then had a really nice conversation and was asked if I could run with them, so I really knew what I was getting into. Soon I was able to do that and with my cheat letter and some guidance it worked out quite well. A few days later I was able to leave my heels in the closet and got into this rollercoaster.

I really enjoy working in a very hectic department. It is hectic because it is very busy due to the many offers and labour-intensive to find out exactly what a customer really wants. Sometimes a customer does not know what information is needed to facilitate in the right way. And that's what you need to find out. Because together, we do try to pamper the customer. The last-minute bookings of regular customers are a particular challenge. Because even if we're packed to the rafters, the planning department somehow manages to get a driver available. I'm always surprised at the flexibility we manage to achieve together!

At the moment, I am busy with all kinds of things; taking orders, making offers or filling 40 lunch boxes for a day tour if necessary. It is really nice to see when all the work results in the driver driving away to a satisfied customer. That gives me a really proud feeling!

I have been working at Doelen for several years now and would like to focus more on the commercial side in the future. Visiting clients or attending network meetings and thus contributing to the growth of our company. That seems like a great thing to do.