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G Adventures acquires 18-25 youth travel specialist

December 6, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

G Adventures has acquired British-based, small-group youth travel specialist TruTravels – having last year acquired British brands Travelsphere, Just You, Swan Hellenic and Page & Moy.

TruTravels – based in Surrey, UK – was co-founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Joe Fallon and Mark Pope, who will continue to run the company as partners and minority shareholders.

While the acquisition broadens G Adventures’ reach into the youth travel sector, the company’s founder, Bruce Poon Tip, emphasised yesterday that TruTravels will remain ‘tru’ to its own brand identity, style of trip delivery, and way of communicating with its customers, who predominantly fall into the 18 to 25-year-old demographic.

“Earlier this year, I realised we were missing a beat with a new, grassroots style of small group travel that was emerging for young people,” Poon Tip said.

“When I started digging deeper into what TruTravels does, I discovered that while their ethos is closely aligned to ours, the way they communicate, and how they travel, is so different to G Adventures that we couldn’t compete.

“For this reason, we don’t want to change what TruTravels does. Joe and Mark are doing an incredible job in this space with this new style of fun-focussed travel which is rooted in meeting new people and driven by social media influences. Our aim is to give them a boost so they can do more of what they already do so well, and we welcome them to the G Adventures family of brands as a complementary business.”

TruTravels’ co-founders, Joe Fallon and Mark Pope see the new partnership as a means of becoming a global operator faster and more efficiently through gaining access to the supply chain and distribution networks G Adventures has built over the past 28 years of operation.

“While there are clear differences in the style of trips TruTravels runs, and the travellers we attract, the similarities we have with G Adventures are how we knew they were the right partners for us. Both brands’ sales are dominated by travel agency sales and both attract travellers from a number of different countries,” Fallon commented.

There was another important consideration for the duo before inking the deal, and that was whether the two companies were a fit in terms of culture and values.

Co-founder Mark Pope says the biggest draw for TruTravels was their similarity to G Adventures in terms of the importance they place on company culture, staying ‘tru’ to their values, and their joint commitment to protecting people and the planet.

“While it’s obviously exciting to be partnering with the most established and experienced operator in our space, the most important thing for us in saying yes, was that we were culturally aligned. Add to that our shared passion for delivering the best customer experience imaginable, and contributing to making the world a better place, and we believe it’s a perfect match,” Pope said.

While there are no immediate changes to TruTravels’ ‘TruCrew’, which is made up of 25 staff based in Surrey and 40 tour guides in Asia, they do have plans to expand their sales team as their agency distribution network grows. As well as helping them grow this network, G Adventures will be supporting TruTravels in increasing their supply chain access, as well as with shared resourcing in areas such as technology, talent acquisition and finance.

Edited by Peter Needham

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