G Adventures Launches New Programs on World Tourism Day
PHOTO: G Adventures' Bruce Poon Tip makes several company announcements on World Tourism Day. (courtesy Janeen Christoff)
TORONTO - The pursuit of sustainable tourism is what drives G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip and a series of announcements made on World Tourism Day highlight the company’s passion for giving back.
At an event that included local and international media as well as travel agents and G Adventures employees and supporters from around the world, Poon Tip revealed several new programs that will engage consumers in the process of making sustainable choices when it comes to travel.
In order to achieve and broaden sustainable travel, destinations, tourism companies and travelers all have to come together. G Adventures has worked with Sustainable Travel International to create Travel Better, a multifaceted program that engages both travel consumers and travel sellers in best practices in sustainable tourism and a step toward making these practices more mainstream.
There are many different parts of this new program. There’s a certificate course, a training module, a club, deals, incentives and more – all planned for realease in the coming year. For now, the training module is available on G Adventures website.
Travel agents are one of the keys to the success of this program and to bringing sustainable travel more into the mainstream.
“Travel agents are key to educating consumers about how to travel better,” said Poon Tip.
Complementing the Travel Better program is G Local, a sustainable travel ratings system that will provide transparency within the industry.
Consumers and travel sellers will be able to understand where their money is going and how it is filtering back into the local economy. Some trips will have higher scores than others and travelers can make informed decisions about their choices in travel spending.
READ MORE: Tips for Responsible Tourism
Jane Goodall Collection
One of the most exciting announcements of the evening is a new partnership with Jane Goodall to promote G’s commitment to animal welfare. G Adventures has partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute and launched 20 new tours that highlight the importance of wildlife-friendly experiences.
“I want to congratulate G Adventures on their animal welfare policy, which is so aligned with our values. My vision is that, one day, people can live in harmony with nature. Travel can be a powerful way to learn about the natural world and our relationship with it,” said Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute.
G Adventures’ goal is to raise awareness in the area of wildlife-friendly tourism. The journeys visit destinations renowned for their amazing access to animal, including Borneo, Madagascar, Galapagos, Kenya and more.
Thirty-two curated, Limited Edition tours will launch in 2017 that offer travelers the opportunity to attend some of the world’s coolest events with G Adventures.
Examples of these journeys include celebrating Halloween in Transylvania and access to an exclusive party in Dracula’s castle, Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest, a visit to Hungary and one of the world’s largest music festivals, Sziget.
Planeterra Continues to Give Back
Poon Tip also discussed some of the ongoing projects that are under way with its foundation, Planeterra. Last year, at its 25th anniversary, G Adventures announced that it would launch 50 new social enterprises in five years and integrate them into G Adventures trips by the year 2020.
At last night’s event, Poon Tip focused on recently added programs that focus on bringing Generation Z youth into the tourism economy.
The programs include Oodles of Noodles in Hoi An, Vietnam. Where children learn the ins and outs of the restaurant industry working in all aspects of the business, from taking travelers out into local markets to select ingredients to cooking with them, working on their English-language skills, serving, cooking and more. The program is so successful that students are recruited out of Oodles of Noodles to work in some of the country’s – and the world’s – finest hotels and restaurants.
Bike With Purpose is another program in Belize where children at Ocean Academy fund their education through participation in the tourism industry. The students share about their life and about life on the island of Caye Caulker, Belize, on bike tours with G Adventures.
El Hongo is a volunteer run restaurant serving home-style local Mexican meals. Funds raised by the restaurant are used to support disadvantaged youth in the area through after school programs such as art and cooking.
The overarching message of the evening’s festivities was G Adventures commitment to bringing about the sharing of knowledge where it pertains to sustainable travel.
“When done right, tourism can change the world,” said Poon Tip. “It can change the world.”
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