Family, friends, people we have just met... Everyone always asks us how we came up with this idea; how and where did HandyVisits come from.
A typical sentence people normally say to us:
-"So cool, I have never seen this kind of tour before. How did you come up with the idea?"
Well, like everything in life, HandyVisits had a process. In fact, we spent some months without even a name for it hahaha.
In the beginning people used to say something very funny to us. Let's put ourselves in situation:
Elena or Aida found a friend and started talking about what how their professional situation was going at the moment. We would answer that we were developing "a project" and always, always, always they would think we were studying and working on our dissertation. When we told them it was a business project to create an enterprise they would be very surprised as we were young and at our age it is very common to be studying. Besides, in the Canary Islands young people don’t normally have an entrepreneur spirit and it is normally quite the opposite. They would study more or work for a company, so when someone young becomes an entrepreneur it is seeing as strange and a surprise.
We have been friends for our entire life and before creating HandyVisits we were in a moment of our lives when we finished our studies and internships and both of us were eager and motivated to do something together but the truth was we had never dared before. Without going any further, one day Elena told Aída:
-”Someday you and I will do something together”
And at the end it became a reality!
Us, the handy girls, when we started with this adventure we had an objective: Promote the canarian culture and gastronomy (the truth is we are in love with our land haha) but we wanted to do it in a fun way. The culture is normally seen as something boring and tedious, so we wanted to give a twist to the way culture is transmitted day by day.
We simply wanted to learn while we had fun, or more like, that people learnt while they had fun and that our canarian culture and idiosyncrasy were not lost for nothing in the world. Our culture and lifestyle are unique and has many characteristic things we love, even our own words.
What would we be without our romerías, our papitas arrugadas, our carnival or our peculiar way of pronouncing the letters ‘c’, ‘s’ and ‘z’...? We would not be Canarian for sure!
Having this thought in her head, Elena decided to get into an entrepreneurship program from the EOI and SPEGC, in where she received training, tutoring and was given all the tools needed to develop a business project and to transfer the idea to an enterprise.
Not long after Aida joined the adventure. Something was about to be born!
We started creating a small guide in pdf format of our town and when doing it, our tutor and us noticed that the content we had designed was very creative.
But the truth was instead directly designing a route we wanted to do something more complicted, we wanted an app! Yes, just as you read it, the beginnings to HandyVisits was an App! Hahaha. Did you expect it?
We wanted to do an app about a game where you could discover a place in a fun way. What is referred to as “touristic gamification”.
In all this process, we got down to business, started designing our first route in our hometown, Teror. We decided to start here because both of us came from Teror and we know it in detail.
When we had finished our design, we went to Teror with a flower lei that casually did not look out of place as we were in Carnival hahaha and a poster where you could read: “Interactive visit”.
And then came the hard bit: stop tourists so they did the tour. We said:
-"Do you want to do an interactive tour with games in Teror? You can give us an euro and thats it” Hahaha now I remember it and I find it funny.
Moreover, during that time the Tourism office was closed for repairs, so we would say there was no other way of knowing Teror but with us.
I remember the first tours were in Teror with some guys from Estonia and some british girls. They were very surprised and I remember that specially the guys were very motivated with our Handy challenges #handychallenges.
There is another question in the minds of many and which we are asked a lot:
-"And why is this the name of the business? Why HandyVisits?”
The truth is we spent a long time without a name and when we wanted one, the one Elena liked Aida would not like and viceversa. Until trying some out, we hit on the spot! One that both of us loved at first! OLE!
We decided to call our baby HandyVisits for various reasons:
We wanted to have an app (back then) and ‘Handy’ means ‘mobile phone’ in german and in the Canary Islands we have a lot of german tourism. Furthermore, nowadays for many of the challenges you need to use the phone ;).
'Handy’ in english means simple, easy, practical… ¡and that is how our visits are! Simple (because we do not incide in long and detailed content) and practical and easy because we take you to places and as residents of the island we know exactly where to take you.
'Hand' in english, because we take you by hand to all places :P.
And ‘Visits’ as the own word says it: we do visits. We visit places, right? Though in reality our motto is: We do not visit a place, we play with it! Because who has gone on a ‘Handy Tour’ knows that it is a game and fun is to be expected. The challenges are not regular challenges, they are Canarian challenges! #behandymyfriend
But in HandyVisits we not only had love at first sight (with the name) but also with the logo. With the logo it was something almost magical because it was not something we asked to be made for us, instead we saw it in a logos webpage and we thought:
"It seems this logo was made for us, for HandyVisits! We loved it as soon as we saw it.
The logo represents a location drawing pin and has some colour stripes representing happiness, freshness, and COLOUR! And this is the way Elena and Aida identify themselves: colour and happiness. And now it also represents something that in a start it has almost no sense, the squares and circles of colours that now perfectly fit in with our coins. The ones the #handies obtain when they complete the challenges, our loved HandyCoins! This is because our HandyCoins are squared and circular! BINGO!!!! Hahaha. And, furthermore, they can also be interpreted like challenges (the squares) and the people who participate in the tours (the circles).
As we had a name, our project was getting a shape. However when it truly started shaping up more was throughout the second entrepreneurship program (we have carried out three in total).
In the second entrepreneurship program we went from theory to practice and this was the moment when we started to test our product and started noticing the format of the visit was better face to face than through an app. In this program we learnt vastly and we had to put a lot of effort in, so our effort finally was rewarded.
We received a prize!!! Premio YUZZ Mujer emprendedora 2017 Gran Canaria. We couldn’t be any happier.
We will always be grateful with all we have learnt in each of the entrepreneurship programs we have assisted. Without them, with no doubt, we would not be what we are nowadays and we would not have advanced as much with the project. Of course, we want to highlight the help of our mentors, who trusted us without knowing us and thanks to them we have achieved much more than we thought we were capable of and helped us not desist. Chapeau to them!
We recommend everyone who wants to become an entrepreneur or has an idea to participate in an entrepreneurship program because they are very handy, they will give you the tools and will help you with your company.
Chachos and Chachas (Ladies and Gentlemen) this has been our particular story of entrepreneurship full of challenges and anecdotes but in each Handy Tour new stories are created and will be stored always in our minds and hearts.
And with that, our story of entrepreneurship has ended (for now…).
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Yesterday I took part in a sightseeing tour around Vegueta in Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. It was an different experience. The tour was created interesting and interactive with a small treasure hunt and at different quests with a little friendly competition.
Una muy buena e innovadora experiencia. Me sorprendió gratamente ya que al residir en la misma ciudad no esperaba descubrir/aprender grandes cosas, ¡pero lo consiguieron!. Lo recomiendo si quieren descubrir la ciudad de una forma diferente y divertida.
A great introduction to the city and Gran Canaria. This is the most fun you will ever have on a tour, as Aida and Elena make the tour fun and interactive and let you experience first-hand the friendliness of the people of Gran Canarian, as well as the food, language, music and many more things that make this island so great. A must do for anyone new to the island!
If you like discovering local culture in a funny way, you will love Handy Visits! The tours are full of challenges and small games really fun to do. A unique way to learn more about the place you are. Just go!
Handy Visits is a start-up whom unique value proposition is to offer a new concept of interactive tours in Canarias. Young and local guides will lead you around in town in order to discover secrets and tips unknown at any other tourist, including backpackers.
Una visita genial y diferente, llena de juegos. Experiencia innovadora y para rematar nos invitaron a una tapa de comida típica canaria. un 10!.
They make discovering the old town of Las Palmas a game with lots of group tasks, quizzes and stuff. I had a lot of fun, lost track of time and learn a lot of interesting facts about the city, its conquering and foundation and canarian culture. Way better than just listening to someone telling you the buildings history. 100% recommended
Hice su visita en Teror y Vegueta, fue muy divertida. Elena y Aída son personas encantadoras. El tour tiene una forma especial, y pude conocer la cultura canaria con ellas. No se puede comparar a otros tours que hice en otras ciudades. ¡Muy recomendable!
I did the Teror tour - it was awesome! :-) Elena and Aída are doing a great job showing you around in a funny and entertaining way. Both are originally from Teror and know everything about the city. That makes it super authentic. We also got some water and snacks of local products, which is quite convenient (water) and interesting to experience (snacks). I would definitely recommend it!
Do you like challenges? Say goodbye to those boring tours while you travel to Gran Canaria. Handy Visits is the best option to get to know the island, but in a funny and always-on-the-move way. I took the gastronomic tour in Teror, a lovely village in Gran Canaria. Found out interesting things about the place, explored hidden treasures and solved urban challenges. All this in a great and multicultural company. After this experience, Teror quickly became my favourite place on the island!
Thanks a lot Elena & Aida for the lovely tour in Teror. Discovering the beauty of Teror and got to know a lot of insights with the special interactive tour. You are doing a great job
Food getting to your lap as ordered and your only task is to enjoy it