The story of Ivo Silva is similar to that of many people from Terceira, who are looking for a professional path on the island where they were born, and at the same time want to contribute to the same place for growth and development. In Evo’s case, the course went first by studying communication in Lisbon and then back to Terceira for an internship in CulturAngra (responsible for a large part of the municipality’s cultural activity), where he hoped to be able to begin to apply the knowledge he had acquired during his study. However, after a period of work “at home”, the training ended and Ivo decided that it was time to leave the island again. “I found, on the Internet, a job in the Dominican Republic for PR and that PR has nothing,” he said.
In fact, it was a diving center, in Punta Cana, that actually required some communication skills, but in a very specific aspect: selling diving courses from a hotel in a beach kiosk. “I didn’t know the company very well, I reached out to people there, Portuguese, Brazilian, I searched the net, I talked to them, they said the company was too big, everything was safe and I got out,” says Ivo. . The “too big” company was the Iberostar hotel chain, which for the first three months offered accommodation to a young Azurian, a house he shared with 17 other people who were also starting their professional activity in Punta Cana. It was 2010 and Evo described the experience as “amazing”. Other sellers of diving courses lived in the house, as well as instructors from all over the world, who began to breed an underwater “sport” animal.
During his first year, he took the course to become a diving expert and went from being a simple salesman to the position of Head of Public Relations, coordinating the operations of 12 salespeople on the Dominican beaches. After a few months, the fact that he was social, a good manager and a good salesman, led to him being promoted again, going to another part of the island to be in charge of the coaching team. “In the first year and a half, I went from a salesperson to a trained boss and then gained notoriety in the company, a taste for selling and teaching how to sell, because in addition to being a coach, we also had to sell, otherwise companies don’t make money,” he says.
In the following eight years, the Terceira native maintained an upward trajectory within the company, towards providing more excellent, In industry slang high end tourism. The Dominican Republic is the most touristically active country in the Caribbean (6 million tourists annually) and this dynamic has opened up a series of opportunities for Evo, namely when the owner of Iberostar visited the area to check on business. “I was the one taking it, and I started to like tourism a little above average. In addition to being within the Iberostar network and having to offer high standards, the way we treat people doesn’t mean we take them in, it’s about giving our best and the best of us. The company is for the benefit of those who were with us. Visit, show off everything and anything else, but with true love, not for money,” he explains.
And it was this mentality and way of dealing with people that the Azures dreamed of bringing to his island, even without a properly defined plan. So one day everything changed.
The good son of the house
In 2019, a vacation on Terceira Island awakened a different “pet” of Evo. For the first time since he immigrated, he spent a month and a half at home (by the way due to a visa issue). Spending so much time on Terceira made him think about how much he missed the island and its people, and his return to the Caribbean was different from his predecessors. There was a natural enthusiasm for his work, but there was also a “new” heartache.
With his sister living on the island of São Miguel and his brother’s relocation to the United States, Evo’s mother was left to live alone in Terceira, a situation that left him somewhat upset and led to a spontaneous decision. “The decision was made based on motivation. It was on Mother’s Day, I was talking to her, we were talking every day via video call, and I could see that she was sad, sad, sad and I decided at the time to say ‘Mom, I have news for you – I’ I’m going to home”. It was an impulsive decision, but then, obviously, I started thinking about what I was going to leave behind, I’ve been there for nearly ten years, it’s a long time, a lot of things, it’s life, it’s my friends, I have it all,” he says. .
It was also a departure from a stable situation, with a good job, into an uncertain context, as Evo didn’t know exactly what kind of opportunities were waiting for him or even if he would be able to continue doing what he has devoted the past few years. But what the island had to offer was reason enough to come back. “What really made me come back was nature, being able to be in the sea and suddenly being able to go up a mountain, and be in the middle of the bush in five minutes. Being able to escape things that way, instead of walking three kilometers to go to A deserted beach, here … [na República Dominicana]Next, the growth of tourism in Terceira also prompted Evo to imagine that it could find more companies and a different, more dynamic market than the one it gave up ten years ago.
Become an Entrepreneur and Start Angra
The greater volume of tourists led Evo to join a tourist entertainment company as a guide. The practices he brought from the Dominican Republic and the knowledge he already had about Terceira gave him a set of skills and put him in a prime position to provide the service. The transition from sea as head diving instructor, to a tour guide with overland itineraries, was a major change, not only in terms of salary and daily routine, but also in the bureaucracy that Tarsirans used to find. their old job. “I am used to another kind of treatment in the company, everything here is more squared, very formal, and a lot of email. It made me a little confused: I order 50 euros in working capital, I had to send an email, and this email goes From here to here and from here to here and from here to here and it takes four or five days to get there.”
Then there was also the question of how to treat customers. In Terceira there is a tradition to welcome and treat people well, no matter how long they are on the island, but Evo often found loopholes in his service or in the freedom that he had to offer something extra, for example, offering a bottle of water to the customer who was tired or thirsty. These may seem small things, but the way I saw the sector, they made all the difference in a tourist’s experience and in their likelihood of recommending a tour service to friends, family or acquaintances.
It was these details that prompted him, in 2021, to make the decision to create his own tours, Where you have complete control and design your service the way you want. However, the little experience he gained as an entrepreneur led him to seek help when setting up the company and that’s when Startup Angra appeared. “It was through a friend of mine that the advice came to speak to Sebastiao [diretor da Startup Angra] And come on Startup, because I had an idea, but I didn’t have what Startup Angra has to offer, and it really is an amazing instructable. So, things have developed very quickly, Sebastiao is very dynamic,” he says.
On the one hand, he was going to single-handedly start a business that was deeply affected by the epidemic. In 2021, Terceira has not yet reached the record level of tourist numbers that it was in 2019, but the safety conditions that an outdoor itinerary can provide, as well as the growing popularity of the Azores as a sustainable tourist destination, have given reasons for the current entrepreneur Terceira He could believe in this new adventure. On the other hand, with Startup Angra, he helped structure his business, handle more bureaucratic issues like access to regional funds and even access a network of other Terceira entrepreneurs who can help him with things like his logo, website and other physical communication materials via Internet.
Thus Terceira Tours was born.
Business model and future
Terceira Tours is part of the concept slow rounds. Ivo’s goal is to organize private itineraries for one or more days, giving a small group of tourists the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge of the island and have an experience that they will recommend to others and will never forget. “We want people to be fascinated by these beautiful landscapes that we have, but above all to have an emotional impact on people. We want people to do what they like and not what we think is the best, of course we will give guidance and that we have the main points on the tours but there will be Lots of there. Mixing them with the community as well, seeing the fishermen, seeing how they work here at the fishing port level,” he justifies.
Ivo Silva focuses more on quality and less on quantity. More about service development excellent And less is a volume dependent service where customer satisfaction can vary. “I know I can do two tours for 80 euros and earn 160 euros, but I would rather spend the whole day with four people and earn the same or even less, but at least these people will really feel what it will be like here, perhaps, they will recommend me more easily than both tours Which I had on the same day, and things went a bit smoother.”
The next step for Terceira Tours is to create the first partnerships with hotels, local accommodation and other types of establishments that act as a channel for their first clients and that allow the company to become a reference for any tourist who wants to leave the island. An unforgettable experience.
The Perfect 3-Day Terceira Island Tour (By Terceira Tours)
East Island (10-12 hours):
- Brazil mountain
- East coast until reaching Praia da Vitoria
- Continue to Ajwalfa
- Go to Algar do Carvão.
the second day
West Island (10-12 hours):
- A stroll through what was missing from Monte Brasil
- Go to the fishing village of São Mateus
- Go to Biscuit to see the natural swimming pools
- Go to Quatro Ribeiras and visit the natural pools
- Visit the lakes, caves and streams within the island
- Whale watching (ie Orcas)
- Lunch at Angra do Heroísmo
- Visit the arc of Cabras Island
This is the first in a series of articles resulting from a visit from The next big idea To Angra do Heroísmo, at the invitation of Startup Angra and the municipality of Angra do Heroísmo.