“We just got back from a 10-day coast to coast trip in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica we were received by a very professional organization, they handled everything we needed to get around in CR…hotels, shuttles between locations, tour options, and food”.
“We have already been travelling to other parts of the world but our trip to Costa Rica has been one of our best journeys. The beautiful nature, friendly people, our well organized trip (thanks to CRS Tours) have made this journey unforgettable!”
“CRS’s arrangements were flawless, with every arrival, pickup, car rental, etc timely and courteous”
1. How did you end up working in the tourism industry?
I always wanted to travel and discover new horizons. I discovered Costa Rica for the first time in 1989. That was a “love at first sight”, an awesome experience. Soon I started travelling more in the region. Tourism provided an opportunity for me to show some of the unique and special features of Costa Rica to other people. That is why I started to work for Costa Rican companies as a tour leader and later in several hotels. When I met my Costa Rican wife and our first son was born in 1998, we started with CRS Tours.
2. What inspired you to start this company?
I enjoyed working in tourism in Costa Rica for other tour operators at the start. There are many people who do not like their job, hoping to pay for one week of what I as a tour leader in Costa Rica did every day. That’s a pretty powerful incentive. But I also felt the need to do better and to improve things that according to my opinion could be done better. That is when I started to organize my own trips.
3. Describe your first sale/customer.
I remember that moment very well. I was on top of every hotel check in and tour! I wanted my customers to feel the same passion for Costa Rica that I had – and have. These travelers enjoyed Costa Rica and their itinerary, It was a very broadening and rewarding experience. In tourism, if we do it right, we can provide very positive experiences to our guests.
4. What was your first tour like – and what has changed compared to your most recent?
At the beginning our tours were very much based on my personal experiences as a tour leader, very often we included off the beaten track destinations with very often more basic accomodation. These days we still pamper the more budget minded travellers, but we also enjoy catering to honeymooners or families. We now also offer high-service four – and five star boutique hotel reservations, offering clients exceptional experiences, mostly with a focus on sustainability, combined with the ultimate nature experience and adventure.
5. What part of the company are you most proud of and why?
I am proud of the company as a team. It is very satisfying to see how well every department works together. I am proud of the colleagues in reservations and operations, making sure every detail of a trip is taken care of. Also of the local Costa Rican guide who enjoys to teach our visitors about Costa Rican culture and who makes a living because of the customers that choose to travel with CRS Tours.
6. What do you feel sets your company apart from other DMC’s?
We want to benefit our clients in as many ways as possible while meeting or exceeding their expectations. We do this through a variety of ways. A few key elements set us apart from others; we also include Panama and Nicaragua in our tours and focus on service. This means working after hours and going the extra mile. We protect and nurture what is ours. We firmly believe in long term business relations with customers and it is one of the reasons we have been in business for 18 years.
7. What does a standard working day look like for you?
Getting up early to share breakfast with my two sons and wife, a stroll in the park with my dog and after that the first meetings with my staff. I also have a lot of meetings with providers and like to be involved in product development. I travel a lot, attending tourism fairs and visiting properties we work with.
8. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The smell of good Costa Rican coffee!
9. What keeps you up at night?
A good movie or watching stars on a pitch black sky and enjoying the amazing view. That is definitely something you will enjoy in Costa Rica in particular during our dry season!
10. What other CEOs do you look up to and why?
From a couple of CEO`s in my life I have learned a lot. Learning never stops and there are great leaders out there, they inspire. They are effective listeners and managers, not failing to encourage and give positive energy to their employees.
11. Where do you see the company in 5 years?’
As one of the best local tour operators in Costa Rica, known for reliability, high service standards and customer satisfaction.