When I saw the light of day in Rotterdam on December 1, 1965, I naturally could not have imagined that I would be directly infected with the Rotterdam virus. Although my parents and grandparents also lived and worked in Rotterdam and the whole family experienced the Feijenoord feeling as a kind of football-religion, in retrospect it is not so very strange of course.
The Rotterdam virus. Well. What is thát? A huge dose of pride in your birthplace and a great sense of historical events. I have travelled on this globe in many places, amused and managed to maintain myself everywhere, both as a traveller (back-packing around the world for a year) and a professional (event consultant in Beijing). I can now say that I have been to many metropolitan places. And I can also say that there are many cities that are larger and more international than my city.
Nowhere does my heart skip a beat of joy when I talk about it or when I guide groups during my “Experience Rotterdam!” city trips. I think that there are not many like us, that are moved to tears when a new building is opened, such as during the opening of the iconic Rotterdam Central Station. Pride is also the reason that a sport event such as the Rotterdam Marathon causes a huge crowd. Driven by pride. Driven by passion.Driven by a common feeling of “This is my Rotterdam, nice isn’t it? Welcome!”
Years before Rotterdam was called hot, hip and happening by leading travel magazines and congress organizations, I turned my hobby into my work. I organize city trips for groups with a lot of experience. My mission is to give my guests the ultimate experience Rotterdam.
Marc Vollaard during tour, guiding through the Markthal. Photography: Lenneart Ruinen
Rotterdam was the big unknown and now likes to hug and be greeted. With all the multiculti colors of the rainbow. Rotterdam is warm, has a heart. A heart that skips a bit of joy when another group of guests comes to visit and share a great enthusiasm about Rotterdam.
Not only do I want to show Rotterdam, but I want to convey the feeling I have with and for my city; Versatile, hospitable, diverse, open-minded, something for everyone, authentic. I love my job, i love my city. May i invite you to experience Rotterdam?
By Marc Vollaard, Self-proclaimed city fanatic
Employed at your DMC Rotterdam to let corporate groups experience Rotterdam
Photography: Jan Bijl
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