Birmingham entrepreneur Adam Evans has defied the economic gloom to launch a range of businesses on one of Europe’s top holiday islands.
The former jewellery shop manager from Northfield first waved goodbye to the West Midlands 12 years ago to work for a tour operator in the holiday hotspot of Majorca, but after several years helping Brits abroad, the businessman decided to use the skills he had developed to start his own travel company.
The Travel Buddy, based in the Majorca party capital of Magaluf, offered assistance for travellers needing special services such as translators, holiday advice and flights.
“We provided help when people got into difficulties, such as losing passports, insurance problems and the matters that the holiday companies used to deal with," he said.
"However, it was not all bad – we sold tickets to top attractions and even released our own CDs of tourists’ favourite holiday music from a top nightclub."
As major tour operators struggled to cope with the financial downturn, Mr Evan’s travel and ticket business boomed. A stake in a bar and restaurant followed and this soon mushroomed to a small chain of cafe-style outlets designed to appeal to the British holidaymaker abroad.
The operation has been such a success that dad-of-two Mr Evans eventually wants to franchise the concept out to other travel destinations in the Mediterranean.
“I have always tried to go that extra mile," said Mr Evans. "When I started the travel agency we offered that little bit extra to holidaymakers who were missing those levels of service from the big tour operators.
“I also noticed that many of the restaurants and bars in the big holiday resorts failed to offer visitors healthy option food and drinks, while many failed to cater properly for families.
"So I invested in a bar in a prime location in Majorca and a year later expanded to a couple of other outlets which have been quite successful.
“Living and working abroad is not a holiday. That is the mistake many people make and the reason so many people’s businesses fail when they leave the UK.
"It has been a difficult year but we have stabilised and are hoping for more success as the economic picture improves.”
Despite having to overcome the notorious mountains of Spanish red tape, business success has led to Mr Evans creating several jobs for Britons who want to spend a sunshine summer abroad as well as permanent positions for West Midlanders who have exchanged Birmingham and the Black Country for the Balearics.