A passion for travel, for Canada, the USA and for her travelers – this is the everyday force which drives Elske Doets and her team at Jan Doets America Tours, a specialized direct sell travel organization for vacations to Canada and the USA. That’s how Elske and her team make a difference and that’s why Jan Doets America Tours is so unique and so successful.
“Traveling triggers emotions!” is a quote which Elske uses almost daily.
MISSION OF JAN DOETS AMERICA TOURS
Organizing holidays for travelers to the USA and Canada with the motto that they’ll discover more than they were prepared for. For example, Jan Doets’ travelers always stay at the edge of the Grand Canyon, not only to enjoy the sunset and the sunrise, but also to undertake a helicopter flight above this awe-inspiring natural miracle. Unique experiences such as this one mean that Jan Doets travelers can experience and enjoy more. Customer satisfaction ratings are as high as 70-80%, which results in the fact that Jan Doets has many customers who travel with this organization over and over again.
Jan Doets America Tours makes no concessions when it comes to quality – if it believes that a hotel or excursion cannot deliver high quality and service during a trip, it organizes a better alternative in advance, to ensure there are no complaints when travelers return. Jan Doets operates within an extremely dynamic and competitive market. It’s important to stay one step ahead. But its success is a combination of personal contact with its travelers and technology. And Jan Doets invests heavily in technology, making the organization extremely skilled in out-of-the-box marketing, fostering close ties with its travelers and surprising consumers.
A great passion for the USA, Canada and its customers is a key quality for the entire Jan Doets team. This passion must be a driving force in how all staff perform on a day-to-day basis.
Under Elske Doets’ inspiring leadership, Jan Doets America Tours has been transformed from a more or less traditional travel agency into an organization which is fully-equipped for a new generation of travel. Internet forms the most significant lifeline, but customers are also assisted in a face-to-face manner. Since 2013, Jan Doets America Tours has expanded by more than 60%. There was no decline, and sales and results remained stable in the period between 2008 and 2012, quite unique during the worst years of the economic downturn.
ELSKE’S LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
Elske is very straightforward and no-nonsense and runs Jan Doets intuitively, giving her team considerable autonomy. In every aspect of her life she opts for the alternative, often for the road less travelled, and this makes her difficult to pin down. Perhaps that’s why she’s nicknamed Spirit Bear. For more details please visit: www.jandoets.nl/elske
One of Elske’s key skills is the ability to quickly identify the essence of a travel destination. Jan Doets America Tours is a flat organization with a clear strategy; there are for example no meetings that soak up time. Elske and her product managers or marketing manager organize a 10-minute kick-off talk every day since 1999 – a way of getting a clear picture of what her staff are doing and what the ‘big picture’ is. This has proved to be a great way of motivating staff, so that Elske has a skilled and stable team with an incredible dedication to their jobs.
Elske has officially been ‘Mrs. Canada’ since 1995, an honorary title and an enormous professional passion, and since then, has succeeded in putting Canada on the map as a travel destination, not only within Jan Doets, but within the Dutch market as a whole.
Jan Doets America Tours also has its own tulip, the ‘Jan Doets Thank You Tulip’. This ragged-edged, deep-red tulip is being sent to every customer in a ‘tulip shaker’ every year to give them a lighthearted memento of their holiday and to perhaps kindle their interest in more.
CHARITIES & COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Elske was lucky enough to see the white ‘Spirit Bear’ in West Canada with her own eyes in 2015. This is a white bear which lives in the rain forest along the coast of British Columbia, in a unique ecosystem where the bears feed on the wild salmon, and which is supported by a non-profit organization: Pacific Wild: www.pacificwild.org.
Each traveler that travels with Jan Doets to Canada contributes €2,- to Pacific Wild, and Elske personally doubles this donation.
Elske is also an enthusiastic sponsor of local sports clubs, to encourage youngsters to take pleasure in exercise. Jan Doets America Tours sponsors girls’ soccer, amateur soccer, skiing, mixed hockey and golf.
2001-today President and owner of Jan Doets America Tours
1999-2001 General manager Jan Doets America Tours
1996-1999 Product Manager USA & Canada Jan Doets America Tours
1986-1996 (from the age of 14) Part-time and student job at Jan Doets America Tours (from telex operator to sales)
1991-1997 Dutch law with a major in economics, University of Amsterdam
1989-1991 Pre-university education at C.S.G. Jan Arentsz in Alkmaar
1984-1989 HAVO at Bergen Scholen Gemeenschap in Bergen (NH)
2017 Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year 2017 – most prestigious award for Businesswomen. It is a lifelong ambassadorship for female entrepreneurship. The Prix Veuve Clicquot for Businesswomen is awarded to outstanding women in 18 countries worldwide.
2016 Chairman’s Circle Honors Award, Brand USA
FD Gazellen award for the fastest-growing company (large businesses)
2015 Chairman’s Circle Honors Award Brand USA
2013 Chairman’s Circle Honors Award Brand USA
Finalist at the awards for entrepreneurs in the province of North of Holland, medium-sized businesses
1999 Eager Beaver Award from Canada’s ambassador to the Netherlands
Chairman’s Circle Honor Award Brand USA: The Chairman’s Circle Honors Award is the Travel Oscar of Brand USA that honoured Jan Doets for its quantity, quality and marketing efforts amongst the top 50 tour operators for travel to the USA. Jan Doets was the first-ever Dutch travel agency to win this award for 3 times already.
2009-today Various posts on school boards at e.g. the St. Adelbertus School, the Van Reenen School in Bergen (NH) and the Jan Arentsz school in Alkmaar
2014-today Member of the women’s network in Bergen, Egmond and Schoorl
2002-2013 Member and executive member of the young management section of the Dutch employers’ organization VNO NCW, Noordwest Holland division
- Personal training (since 2008)
- The 3 Dares of Elske Doets: Dream, Dare and Do
- Celebrate life and drink a glass of champagne every day. Life is precarious enough.
- Doing your best isn’t good enough, aim for the top!