This is the story of a warm family business that began more than 30 years ago on a campsite in Lake Garda.
"I have a dream"
In the summer of 1976, Loek van de Loo, founder of Campingselection, at just 16 years old and he worked on a Italian camp. After the summer, Loek had the big dream of owning his own campsite. And this dream became a reality in 1982. Loek was co-owner of a new small campsite in a beautiful olive grove on Lake Garda, Camping Weekend.
Two years later, in 1984 Loek van de Loo started renting accommodation on Lake Garda. Besides owning a campsite Loek was the owner of a travel agency which quickly grew and spread to the whole of Italy. 30 years later he owns Campingselection with more than 15,000 homes in over 1,100 campsites and holiday resorts, all of which have the same philosophy of hospitality.
30 years of Campingselection
Founder of Campingselection, Loek van de Loo, flowing entrepreneur which is in his blood. At just 12 years old he already had his own business with violins.
The roots of the company are very much located in Italy. Loek also married a Italian woman and immigrated to Italy in 1984 and laid the foundation for his company there. This is the story of a passionate entrepreneur who understands and is able to meet each guest's needs.
"In 1976 I was 16 years old and I went to Italy as a student to work at a campsite on Lake Garda. It was then my dream of owning my own campsite. And the atmosphere should be equally welcoming and lively as the space I was working. This all had something to do with the Dutch owner, my first boss. From the first meeting, I was a great admirer of him. To the delight of the guests, there was a lot animation. Through a megaphone, he announced every day in the pool, what activities were on the program. In the reception worked an Italian girl, Chicca. I helped her with English, German and Dutch, and she me with Italian. We fell in love, and I have now been married to her since.
"My dream of starting a campground in 1982 became reality. I borrowed money from my mother and bought a small campsite in an olive grove on Lake Garda. With my wife Chicca and our sons Alessandro and Leonardo lived with us and we worked during the summer at campsite. The winter was spent in the Netherlands where I am from. I bought some used some used mobile homes, which I rented out. I made 140 bookings for the first year. Every Friday I switched ads on Advertising pages of "Tele Graff" and the magazine "Kampioen" from the ANWB. On Saturday, the phone rang continuously and the whole family helped out"
"The biggest advantage was that I could be there for my guests directly at the campsite in the summer, which had previously booked by phone with me. I have always listened to my clients. I heard that coffee was wanted in the house, so each residence was equipped with a coffee maker. When our boys went to school, we moved. In Holland, I met regularly with a growing group of employees for Campingselection. Today I am only in Alkmaar once a month. We have offices in 12 countries and we rent more than 15,000 homes in 15 countries. Last year we had over 65,000 bookings - and I am very proud!"