Last week, I was lucky enough to join some of Canada’s most forward-thinking travellers in celebrating World Tourism Day. In an event hosted by G Adventures, we celebrated the amazing world of travel and the work, effort, and ethics that go into building a better travel industry.
G Adventures has long been a company built on sustainability and ethical travel. But this year, they’ve decided to take their philosophy even father.
Around 7:30 pm, after exploring some fascinating exhibits, enjoying their signature cranberry cucumber cocktail, and enjoying a few delectable appetizers, G Adventures’ CEO Bruce Poon Tip took the stage. He began by explaining the saddening reality of how little money spent on tours in impoverished countries actually stays in those countries. While many travel agencies make a profit off of our desire to see the world, the countries that rely on tourism for economic growth rarely see any of it. The percentage of the world’s population living in poverty has decreased within the last several years, but there is still a lot more that can be done to help bring that number down to zero.
With great passion and excitement, Bruce unveiled his 2017 plans to help do just that.
His first unveiling of the night was a series of trips under the Travel Better name. These trips are specifically meant to fund local communities, shops, and individuals in countries in need. Everything from cooking classes to bike tours to festivals will be offered, with proceeds going where they are needed the most. With a simple shift in mindset, Bruce and the G Adventures team are able to spread the wealth to those in need while inspiring us all to see every corner of the world.
His second announcement is the coming together of G Adventures with animal activist legend Jane Goodall. Together, they have created the new Jane Goodall collection. This is a collection of wildlife-focused tours allows travellers to get up close and personal with some amazing animals, while still respecting their freedom and safety. In the world of tourism, it’s easy to fall for the tourist traps that have foundations in animal cruelty. From camel tours to elephant rides and even tiger sanctuaries, many of these operations rely on the harming of animals to make a profit. These tours give travellers the assurance that they will be gaining unforgettable experiences without harming any of the animals involved. And I think that is something we can all get behind.
As tourists and guests in other countries, it’s important that we’re always aware of our impact on the places we visit. If we can leave a country even slightly better off than when we got there, then it’s worth doing what we can.
Congrats to Bruce and the team for their new tours. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for all of us.