A holiday in the sun left two Birmingham families with more than just happy memories, golden tans and pockets of euro change.
It provided the inspiration for a business idea which has blossomed into one of few British-based companies specialising in holiday property on the picturesque, unspoilt island of Fuerteventura.
Sutton Coldfield couple Des and Amanda Dunn, of Irnham Road, teamed up with friends Andy and Lorraine Leonard, of Clarence Road, to launch Fuerteventura Homes.
The relatively undiscovered Canary island offers investors the chance to own holiday homes in a glorious location, and make healthy returns through capital growth and rentals, said Mr Leonard.
Fuerteventura Homes offers properties ranging from one-bedroom apartments at £ 40 , 000 to luxurious £500,000-plus villas.
Mr Leonard, aged 37, a former financial consultant at Lloyds TSB, said: "We were looking for a family holiday and the travel agent told us about a 'kids-for-a-quid' offer at Fuerteventura. It was one of the best investments we ever made. We had a great holiday and I had a hunch we would come back and buy a holiday home on the island because it was so beautiful, relaxing and unspoilt.
"I was at the hotel bar chatting to a fellow holidaymaker and he told me he had just bought two apartments nearby. He took me to see them and the business idea just grew from there."
He added: "When we got back we got chatting to Des and Amanda about the island and the fantastic investment opportunities it presented. Three weeks later we all flew out to the island and looked at various developments, talked to agents, and carried out research.
"We discovered that by buying off-plan before the properties were complete we could make a healthy profit. We clubbed all our savings together and put deposits down on ten apartments off-plan. They turned out to be great investments because it is only in recent years that the potential of Fuerteventura has begun to be realised."
Mr Dunn, aged 36, former managing director of a security alarm company, said: "Through our own experience we have gained a huge amount of knowledge of the property market on the island. We have also made a lot of very useful contacts such as developers, lawyers, bank managers and estate agents. It has put us in a strong position to be able to guide investors through finding their ideal property, to legal advice and the holiday rental market.
"Few people realise that Fuerteventura is one of the last of the major Canary islands to be developed. It has seemingly endless beaches, perfectly preserved nature areas, and only a small percentage of the land has been earmarked for development of any kind."
Mr Leonard and Mr Dunn were so confident about the prospects for property investment on Fuerteventura that they decided to take a change of direction in their careers to focus on selling holiday property. They have been joined at their offices at 38A High Street, Sutton Coldfield, by fellow directors, mother-ofthree Amanda and mother-oftwo Lorraine who will focus on providing a full rental programme for buyers.
As the Canary Island closest to the African coast, Fuerteventura offers more than 3,000 hours of sunshine every year and a climate in which temperatures rarely fall below 18C.