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G Adventures increases commitment to community tourism with Project 100

July 9, 2019 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

G Adventures today announced it has increased its commitment to community tourism with the introduction of an additional 25 Planeterra (G Adventures’ non-profit partner) projects into its tours by 2020. This will bring the total number of projects to 100 globally, meaning 90% of the operator’s small-group trips will visit a community tourism project supporting women and children, Indigenous culture and / or environmental conservation.

The new announcement supersedes the adventure operator’s ‘50 in 5’ initiative which was announced in 2015, and sought to add 50 projects to the pre-existing 25, bringing the total to 75 in 46 countries by 2020.  The 50 in 5 project is now complete – 18 months early – with the announcement of the final five projects in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Botswana, Hungary, and Kyrgyzstan. Project 100 now commences as a new Planeterra initiative, with 25 new projects being announced later this year.

Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, says giving back to local people in the communities the company travels to is built into the company’s DNA, and this extended commitment to local people gives G Adventures even more opportunities to change lives through travel, for both local people and travellers.

“For us to over-deliver on our promise to build 50 community tourism projects in five years, and to now commit to 100 projects by 2020, proves our laser-focus and determination to use the power of positive impact travel to change people’s lives.  Each year, more than 100,000 travellers visit our 75 current projects, touching the lives of 60,000 local people annually.

“I believe travel can be a force for good and has the power to become the biggest form of wealth distribution the world has seen. The transformative power of travel is most real when our travellers see first hand the impact their travel choices have on others, so I’m proud that 90% of our travellers will have this experience.” says Poon Tip.

The final five ‘50 in 5 projects’ brings the total number of Planeterra projects on G Adventures tours to 75 and all are now fully implemented into selected G Adventures tours.

  • Coope San Juan – San Juan – Costa Rica – Coope San Juan is a community cooperative made up of 12 families who until now have been dedicated to agriculture and natural forest preservation. Income from agriculture is limited, which led Planeterra to work with the cooperative to bring more tourism to the area resulting in an improved quality of life. 20 bicycles have been funded for the families to host travellers on cycling tours, and more than 1,000 G Adventures travellers will visit the community annually. This project is now live and can be visited on all departures of the 17-day ‘18-to-Thirtysomethings’ Volcano Trail tour from Antigua, Guatemala to San Jose.

  • Shandia Community Tourism – Ecuador – The Shandia community is inhabited by Indigenous Kichwa families who until now have had limited access to tourism. This has resulted in locals leaving for jobs in the city which puts the community at risk of losing their traditions and customs, as well as protection of their natural Amazonian environment. Planeterra and G Adventures have worked with the community to develop a cycling tour and chocolate-making class to be led by the village’s youth. Each year, 850 G Adventures travellers will do this tour and stay at the Shandia Community Lodge which previously lacked the ability to attract enough customers. To visit, travellers can join an eight-day Ecuador Quest Classic tour which travels from Quito return.

  • Nem Adom Fel – Budapset, Hungary – The Nem Adom Fel Foundation (meaning ‘Never give up’) was founded in 2005 with the mission to empower Hungarians living with disabilities, and the Roma community of the country, whose unemployment levels are higher than other Hungarians. Planeterra provided a grant to the foundation to upgrade the operations at its restaurant, the Nem Adom Fel Café and Bar. G Adventures will now take 1,000 travellers per year to the restaurant, meaning valuable income for the foundation to invest back into its programmes. All travellers on the eight-day National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures Explore Central Europe trip, travelling from Berlin to Budapest will dine at Nem Adom Fel.

  • Dqae Qare San Lodge – D’Kar, Botswana –  The San Lodge lodge, campsite, and wildlife area is the only freehold land owned by an Indigenous community in Southern Africa. The San are known for their warm hospitality, and the lodge provides much-needed employment for the nearby village of D’Kar, where revenue from tourism is invested in the local preschool, arts programme and museum. Planeterra has provided Dqae Qare San Lodge with a grant to upgrade their campsite where more than 1,000 G Adventures travellers will stay and learn about the history and culture of the San from their people directly. Travellers departing on the 18-Thirtysomethings Delta & Falls Overland trip, travelling from Windhoek to Victoria Falls, will stay at Dqae Qare San Lodge.

  • Ak Orgo – Barskoon, Kyrgyzstan – Ak Orgo is a community social enterprise designed to celebrate cultural traditions and provide employment in a rural area of Kyrgyzstan where economic opportunities are limited. Planeterra provided funding for local tourism training and upgrades to facilities, and close to 500 G Adventures travellers per year will stop here for a traditional Kyrgyz lunch experience. They will also have the unique opportunity to learn how traditional yurts (nomadic tents) are built and the importance of this craft, as well as other traditional handicrafts. This project can be visited on all departures of the nine-day Highlights of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan trip travelling from Bishkek to Almaty and departing from June 2019.

All current and future G Adventures and Planeterra projects are selected according to the biggest benefit to the community resulting from traveller numbers. Particularly where women, youth and Indigenous people have been disadvantaged by a lack of access to education, jobs and income opportunities.

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