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Taking tourism to the next level


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Tourism Group International, founded in 1983, is active in a wide variety of areas. Customers can visit its shops, called Tours & Tickets, which are dotted around Amsterdam, and buy tickets to many well-known and lesser-known attractions. This includes things like the Amsterdam Icebar, Ripley’s, the Rijksmuseum, canal cruises and so much more.

The shops function not only as a physical point for people to buy tickets, but as a general starting place for tourists to gather information about what Amsterdam has to offer, when specific tours happen and the prices of each activity. “We see our ticket stores as a PR opportunity for the establishments we work with,” says Dirk Lubbers, CEO.

With millions of tourists visiting the 28 Tours & Tickets shops spread out across the city, places that choose to work with the company and have tickets sold to their attractions are guaranteed to receive an increase in foot traffic annually. This is a great incentive to partner with Tourism Group International.

It is no secret that the world is becoming increasingly digital. So, if physically walking into a shop to buy tickets or get information is not what a customer prefers, the business maintains an extensive website for interested parties to browse at their leisure. To help with information overload, the top five attractions are listed on the right-hand side of the homepage.

Online, people can select attractions that are focused on Amsterdam city proper, tours that go to various places around the Netherlands and day trips to Belgium. “We aim to entertain everyone, not just a specific type of person that has specific interests,” explains Mr. Lubbers.

A trend that the company’s management and other employees have noticed is that people are more frequently ‘buying time’. For example, customers are willing to spend a little extra money for things like fastlane tickets, which means when they arrive at an attraction, they don’t have to wait in line and can just walk up to the door to be admitted. Similarly, VIP tours are also increasing in popularity.

Dirk Lubbers
“Whether you want a VIP experience, something off the beaten path, or just to enjoy the main sites of the city, we have something for everyone.” Dirk LubbersCEO

Canal tours make up the bulk of the firm’s tourism revenue. Due to the high volume of visitors who cruise the iconic waterways through the company’s Lovers Canal Cruises branch, Tourism Group International takes sustainability very seriously. 60% of the boats used on the cruises are electric.

“Doing business should be about more than making profit,” adds Mr. Lubbers. “As a company, we are community minded and want to help make the city a better place for both locals and visitors.”

Helping make the world outside the company a better place is important to the firm, but it is only one half of the equation. The business is also dedicated to making the internal atmosphere a positive one so that employees want to come to work. “We invest considerably in training and education for our staff,” says Mr. Lubbers.

Additionally, workers can get perks for meeting sales goals, and each individual has visited every attraction in the company’s portfolio to understand exactly what it is they are selling. Future plans for this entrepreneurial firm include growing its presence internationally.

Currently, the company is active abroad in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Latvia and Estonia. “We are the market leader in tourism in the Netherlands and aim to be the market leader in these new markets as well,” states Mr. Lubbers with confidence.

Apart from any entrepreneurial goals, Mr. Lubbers stresses the importance of happy and satisfied customers as a major key to success. “Making people feel good, giving them a pleasant experience is what keeps me interested in my job. It is my goal that they leave with a smile, that what we give them is beyond their expectations,” he concludes.

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