We first met Raphael Simoes when we were hosting guests in Rio for the World Cup, and were impressed. Raphael consistently went above and beyond to make our guests happy, even improvising a tour for one father and son pair of guests when he realized the tour they were booked on wasn’t really hitting all the bases. “We got my car and the three of us went for a road trip to a city close by Rio called Petrópolis, then had a half day experience where we enjoyed a lot of museums, churches, had a good walk around and then a great lunch,” he says.
For the past four months, Raphael has been helping plan out our Summer Games experiences in our Canadian offices, but this week he headed back to Rio to get everything set up there for us. We wanted to introduce Raphael to you in advance of the Games, and find out a little more about him.
Tell us about yourself, what is your background?
Back in 2008, I lived in Vancouver so that I could study English. Learning new things has always been important to me, and I’ve also studied Business and Foreign Trade. Before taking the position with Roadtrips I was a broker dealing with import and export, customs clearance and goods arrival and departure.
What are you most looking forward to in Rio? Are there certain sports you love and will be following?
I am so looking forward to the Summer Games, and seeing all these people come to our spectacular city to watch great sport events, and enjoy the beauty that there is here.
The number one event for me will be tennis, which I’ve loved since I was a boy. In my youth I played at championship level, because my father was a real tennis lover and really pushed me to play.
What do you think are big differences between Canadians and Brazilians that you’ve noticed working in Canada for the past 4 months?
In my short time in Canada, I noticed that Brazilians are very similar to Canadians — we are all very friendly, warm, polite, hard workers, and that’s probably that’s why we get along so well.
If you had an extra week after the Olympics to travel, where would you go in Brazil?
I would go to Recife and Porto de Galinhas. Is a very unique place with great people. The food in this region has a very strong flavor. Seafood is the main dish in all restaurants, crabs, shrimps, lobster, oysters, all very very fresh. Plus they have very warm beach with beautiful corals, where you can dive and enjoy the underwater beauty. When you’re there, your biggest worry will be choosing what restaurants you should eat in. This place is all about relaxation.
How excited are you to get to Rio and start getting our guests on their trips?
All the Roadtrips Staff and I are very excited to start receiving our guests, because is something that we’ve been planning dealing for years and now we have only couple of weeks to go. For me at the event department the excitement is to see all our work starting to move forward. Our local hosts are especially excited to get the guests there and give them a very warm reception, and show than the beauty that our home city has to offer!
It’s not too late for us to arrange your perfect Summer Games packages. We can still get you to Rio in style. Contact us to find out what we can do to get you and your family to Rio next month and show you the absolute best time.