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Rickshawriders

You have probably noticed them already. The many rickshaws in the city centre of Barcelona. They drive tourists from one place to another, giving tours and providing the tourists with information of the city. However, the rickshaw business is hard. Nowadays over 80% of the rickshaws you see on the streets in Barcelona is illegal and the legal cyclers are struggling. Six years ago you could find around 50 rickshaw tours in the city. Now, in 2019, there are over 1200 rickshaws ready to drive tourists around.

Aron Marcel Teixeira founder of Rickshaw Riders Barcelona is one of the most experienced rickshaw tour guides in Barcelona. He started his business six years ago. His rickshaw is more than just a bike. Wi-Fi, access to Spotify, music on the way, and power banks to recharge your devices. This “bike” has more luxury and class to it than the average flight agency that flies you from Amsterdam to Barcelona. It even has a blanket to keep you warm during the tour on cold winter days.

During our tour Aron tells me everything about tourism in Barcelona and how it is changing every year. Aron is struggling, he is one of the few riders who is providing tours legally and the government does nothings about the fact that 80% is illegal, which is very frustrating for Aron and his colleagues.

Aron has been living in Barcelona since 2011 but he visited Barcelona for the first time in 2009. “I was a professional skateboarder. I came to Barcelona because this place it the Mecca of street skateboarding.” Skateboarding was Aron’s top priority, he made a living of his hobby traveling the world to skateboard. Because of different injuries Aron stopped skateboarding. Even though skateboarding was his top priority, he studied graphic design and worked as a video editor for a few companies.

In March 2016 Rickshaw Riders Barcelona was born. “Other times back then, only 50 rickshaws in the city, having fun with the tourists.” Barcelona is an amazing city with a lot of different activities for tourists. This city will always be a nice place for a city-trip or a longer vacation however we do feel that the independency situation, even though its calm right now, is an influence on the tourists.

If I ask Aron what he likes about his job he tells me that he loves to talk and he loves to talk to the tourists. “They come from all over the world, Australia, Canada, The States, China but most of them are from Europe.” Aron likes to show them the city and to tell them about the buildings, history, architecture, food and other interesting things. Rickshaw Riders offers tourists different tours with different highlights but tourists can also decide where they want to go.

Minicards Barcelona and Rickshaw Riders have recently joined their forces. Tourists can find Minicards in the Rickshaw and use them right away.

If you want to explore Barcelona in a different and original way and see and feel the vibe of Barcelona definitely book a tour at Rickshaw Riders Barcelona. WhatsApp: 664896690 / www.rickshawriders.com

Barcelona

Who: Ciska van Schagen (49)

What: Minicards Barcelona 🇪🇸

Part of the Minicards network since: 2003

Exploits also: Minicards desk maps in two versions: English and Chinese

1. What’s your biggest milestone or achievement?
“I started Minicards Barcelona in 2003.A great concept: simple, easy to use and visible. My plan was to run this business for five years. I expected Minicards to be overtaken by digital media by then. But despite the online competition Minicards remains a strong product. The cards are still a popular source of information for tourists. I expect it stays like this in the near future, especially for those who don’t want to have a mobile in their hands on vacation all the time. Now, sixteen years later I’m still running Minicards. That’s quite a milestone and I’m proud of it.”

2. Can you tell us about your biggest challenge right now?
We are visible in hotels and other locations, but online there are still many opportunities. The biggest challenge for me is: how are we going to create more online visibility and profile ourselves on social media? In this way we can attract new customers and offer the existing ones even more service.”

3. What’s big on your to do-list for this year?
“Approaching customers by phone or email is not always effective; people do not read their mail or are difficult to reach. Via social media, such as LinkedIn, I see new opportunities. That’s why I want to focus on social selling. It would be great to make contact with potential customers through social media, so we can build up valuable relationships and start a sales process.”

4. What’s the most remarkable thing that ever happened at your business?
“Once, a Russian company wanted to advertise on Minicards. The contact person suggested to meet in the lobby of a hotel. I saw a man sitting at the bar with a suitcase beside him. I started to talk about Minicards, but he looked at me and said: «Don’t say anything. We’re just going to do business and here’s the money.» He pushed the suitcase towards me. It felt like I was in a mafia movie and didn’t accept the money. Confused I left. This was a Russian way of doing business, but I had no idea. In the end we worked together, by the way. Finally, I accepted the money, but not after he signed a contract of course.”

5. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since starting your business?
“Always invest in personal contact with your customers. Start a conversation, and don’t be afraid to ask about personal stuff too. Building on a good relationship, so that customers know you and trust you, is worth its weight in gold.”

Madrid


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