Travel organisation Nordic Collection expands
further with the acquisition of FLY and BiKE

Press Release
Melle, Wednesday 14 september 2022

Travel organisation Nordic Collection expands further with the acquisition of FLY and BiKE

Nordic Collection, a set of six different travel organizations, is adding a seventh brand to their portfolio. With the acquisition of FLY and BiKE, the company continues to expand their travel offer with cycling tours to Asia, Africa, Middle and South America and the Middle East, once more focusing on trips to nature destinations.

The seed for FLY and BiKE was planted 19 years ago by Ilse Michielsen, the brand’s founder. While travelling through Madagascar on an overcrowded and hot minibus, she decided to explore the world by bike from then on. She wanted to share the freedom and the intense experience she had during her cycling adventures with other enthusiasts. To relieve people of the logistics of organizing a cycling trip, she founded her own travel company 17 years ago with a focus on cycling trips to faraway destinations. “Over the past few years, the travel industry has experienced a lot of crises ranging from 9/11 to volcanic eruptions to the corona pandemic. After all these years of swimming alone through these turbulent waters, I was looking for a reliable partner I could fall back on as a smaller travel company. I chose Nordic Collection for its professionalism and pureness. Together with their team, I hope to be able to make my travelers happy with beautiful cycling trips for many years to come with FLY and BiKE.” says Ilse Michielsen.

The odd one out?

At first glance, FLY and BiKE doesn’t seem to fit in with Nordic Collection’s other brands. While Atacama, Galtic, Canada Travel Designers, Wild Alaska and MyHimalaya each concentrate on their specific regions, FLY and BiKE focuses more on a certain type of travel: cycling tours. Still, the new brand complements Nordic Collection’s offering nicely given that all brands have the same goal in mind: to provide customers with a unique travel experience where nature is paramount. The Travel Designers selling the trips all do so with the same passion, expertise and a personalized approach tailored to each individual customer.

From a one-person business to a thriving company with 7 travel brands

Nordic, the brand that originated Nordic Collection, was formed in 1980 as a one-man business under the name Nordic Info with a focus on travel to Norway. In 2008, Maarten Raes took over Nordic Info and built it into a successful travel company offering trips to the entire High North under the name ‘Nordic’. From 2018 – in part due to the merge with Xplore the North – new brands were added to the company, including Atacama, Wild Alaska, Canada Travel Designers, Galtic and MyHimalaya (in 2021). Together with Nordic, these brands were housed under an umbrella organization: Nordic Collection. With the recent acquisition of FLY and BiKE, the original one-person business now counts more than 90 employees working for 7 different travel brands and operating on no less than 6 continents.

What’s next?

In only two years, Nordic Collection managed to grow their employee base from just under 50 people to almost 100 employees, despite the corona crisis. The sales market for their brand Nordic was also expanded in those years with the launch of the brand in the Netherlands, Wallonia and Germany. During the same period, Nordic Collection founded the brand Galtic and acquired two other companies (MyHimalaya and now FLY and BiKE). Maarten Raes, CEO of Nordic Collection, says: “We notice that people’s urge to travel has never been greater, and we are convinced that our brands and our destinations are fully in line with what today’s travelers are looking for: nature, adventure and memorable experiences. On top of that, we constantly look for authenticity and small scale. This is what we will keep focusing on at all times with all of our brands so that we can provide customers with unforgettable experiences at any given time.”

About Nordic Collection

Nordic, the largest brand of Nordic Collection, is the market leader in Belgium for travel to Scandinavia. You can contact Nordic for trips to Norway, Sweden, Lapland, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and the Faroe Islands. Since March 2021, Nordic also operates on the Dutch market, with an office in Nieuwegein, and since July 2022 Nordic has entered the German market.

Galtic, for travel to Ireland and Scotland, was established in March 2021.

Canada Travel Designers, for trips to eastern and western Canada, and Wild Alaska, for travel to Alaska and Yukon, have joined the offering since 2018.

Atacama, for trips to South America, expanded the collection in 2018. With Atacama, customers discover Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia.

MyHimalaya, since October 2021, broadens the offer to the Asian continent with a focus on Bhutan, Nepal, and India.

FLY and BiKE – the most recent addition to the portfolio of Nordic Collection – offers trips to almost every corner of the world on your bike.