What Makes Travel Meaningful?

This is a question I’ve been thinking about quite a lot lately. Part of the reason is because I’ve been dedicating more and more of my time to this industry. When you market different travel products to your clients, you have to let them know the type of value they are getting with the money they spend.

In a time when the travel industry is booming, there are more and more travel products to choose from, whether it be a cruise, a river cruise, or a land-based vacation. There are equally as many credible and successful tour suppliers out there that have and continue to provide exceptional itineraries and hospitality services. Sometimes, it’s hard to choose which supplier to plan your travels with due to the sheer number and saturation of these services. It becomes hard, even for us, to recommend exactly which supplier to book our clients with without going into the minute details of a client’s travel preferences. A lot of our clients know exactly what they want - and more power to them! But what about our clients who yearn for new experiences, or suddenly want something more of their travels?

Because of the richness of travel products out there, more often than not, we find ourselves digging deeper to see what types of experiences these suppliers offer; we look beyond just accommodations or leisurely elements and look instead to a supplier’s core values and what they offer in terms of more authentic experiences. In other words, more than anything, we want our clients to come back from a trip abroad feeling like they’ve truly experienced a culture once unbeknownst to them. As I've said before, we want them to gain the complete experience of travel.

I recently had a meeting with a Global Purpose Specialist from G Adventures. If you’re unfamiliar with this travel company, they’re an adventure travel pioneer that offers an awe-inspiring selection of affordable small-group tours, safaris and expeditions. G Adventure groups average about 10 persons per trip and it’s this focus on small groups that allows them to bring travelers an alternative travel perspective to the cruises, resorts and motorcoach tours many well-traveled folks are accustomed to.

But my meeting with the G Adventures representative wasn’t only about the allure of small group adventures. It was about the innovation that the company brings to the economics and social good of travel. What do I mean by this?

G Adventures is all about responsible travel and tourism. They achieve this value through two major pillars: Planeterra (their non-profit partner) and G Local.

With Planeterra, G Adventures helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Over the next five years, Planeterra will raise $5 Million CAD to integrate 50 new social enterprise projects into G Adventures itineraries by 2020, changing the lives of local people in communities in over 35 countries by providing them with access to the benefits of tourism. G Adventures intends to not only change the traveler’s experience, but to establish a sustainable foundation of enterprises for the local communities they bring travelers to.

All of G Adventures’ itineraries opt for local businesses and services whenever it can. Some stunning statistics I’ll give you based off their G Local Survey which studies the real-world impact of their travellers on the communities they visit:

  • 112,000 number of people employed globally by G Adventures’ contracted service providers  
  • 97% of their on-tour suppliers employ sustainability practices in their operations
  • 9/10 of their suppliers purchase more than half of their supplies from local producers, markets and farms
  • Nearly 100 of their on-tour experiences in over 40 countries include visits to indigenous communities
  • 91% of their on-tour hotels, restaurants, and tour providers are owned by legal residents
  • 83% of supplier management staff are local
  • 65% of included meals are based on local food and traditional cuisine

No other travel company in the world can boast this brand of local flavor. The way I see it, G Adventures truly has a model that can help grow and sustain the travel industry for years to come. It’s this concept that most intrigued me during my conversation with the Global Purpose Specialist from G Adventures. I fully intend to take part in one of their journeys in the near future, especially the journeys that partner with National Geographic. When I do, I will share my experiences with you in full detail.

In the meantime, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce to you G Adventures, where as a traveler, you can make the world a better place.


Why Travel with G Adventures


National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures