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G Adventures provides local impact transparency with new ‘Ripple Score’

October 8, 2018 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Adventure tour operator G Adventures has unveiled an industry-first as it introduces its new ‘Ripple Score’ – an evaluation score for its trips* which indicates what percentage of a tour’s local expenditure remains in the local economy.

As a responsible tour operator, it’s always been G Adventures’ goal to ensure it uses local services and employs local people. The average Ripple Score across its 640 scored trips is 93, meaning that 93% of the money spent in-destination across these tours is spent with locally-owned businesses, benefitting local people.

Sustainable Travel International and the Planeterra Foundation (G Adventures’ non-profit partners) assisted in the development of the Ripple Score calculation, as well as the development of the company’s thorough supply chain analysis survey from which the Ripple Score is the first outcome.

Jamie Sweeting, G Adventures’ vice president for social enterprise and responsible travel, says the Ripple Score is a way for the company to provide transparency for its travellers, and to drive the travel industry forward in terms of accountability.

“As leaders in responsible travel, it’s our duty to be transparent about how often we use local services on each of our tours. As well as educating our travellers about the positive impact they can have through travel, we want to push the industry forward so our suppliers and other operators become more accountable for their local economic and social impact.

“Over the past few years, we have undertaken a thorough analysis of our supply chain to find out how many of our suppliers are majority locally-owned, and thus how much money stays in the destination. When travellers use local businesses it has a positive economic and social impact on communities, and we seek to encourage more of this,” says Sweeting.

Adrian Piotto, Managing Director for G Adventures Australia and New Zealand, said “It’s always been our goal to prioritise the use of local service providers who employ local people. But just how well we were doing, and what benefits we were helping to create, were less than clear. That’s why we decided to undertake this massive outreach effort two years ago, and find out just how home-grown and beneficial our tours actually are.”

Piotto added,  “We believe it represents a first in our sector and a sea change in tourism operations. We hope it coaches the industry forward so that suppliers and other tour operators become more accountable for their economic and social impacts in destinations.”

As a result of the survey, 640 of G Adventures’ approximately 700 trips have been given a Ripple Score. These scores will now appear alongside each trip on the G Adventures website, and will also be published in G Adventures’ 2019 brochures which are available from mid-November 2018.

The Ripple Score is the latest purpose-driven initiative under G Adventures’ ‘G for Good’ social enterprise umbrella, which also includes the company’s suite of responsible travel guidelines aimed at protecting children, animals and Indigenous peoples’ rights, and its more than 65 social enterprise projects around the world which are designed to alleviate poverty, empower women and disadvantaged youth, and to celebrate Indigenous cultures.

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