G Adventures Celebrates New Partnership & Fundraising Festivities

with Caroline Booth

Bruce Poon Tim with Gary Knell, President & CEO of the National Geographic 

LANDO, G Advetures' new overland adventure vehicle

Market items such as chocolate bars, purses and hats were on sale

G Adventures is celebrating its 25th anniversary  this year and marked the occasion earlier this week in grand style with a grand fundraising event and some very grand announcements. The Fermenting Cellar in Toronto’s Distillery District proved to be the ideal setting for the festive night market themed party.

50 in 5
First off was the unveiling of a 5 yr. plan to integrate 50 new social enterprise projects into G Adventures trips by 2020. The ’50 in 5’ campaign is under development in collaboration with its non-profit organisation, Planeterra Foundation that helps local communities help themselves. 5 new social enterprise projects are already underway for 2015 and include work in Northern Thailand, Australia, Galápagosa and Colombia. In India the Women on Wheels initiative empowers disadvantaged women by training and employing them to become drivers, in turn providing safe transport for female travellers.

G Adventures and Planeterra will raise more than CAD 5 million over the next 5 years to fund these projects that will be known as  “G Adventures For Good.”

Meet The LANDO
Since the advent of overland group travel 48 yr. ago, transportation via all-terrain vehicle hasn’t really evolved that much. Time after time companies have been copying the driver up front and pax in the cab “like cattle” model which Poon Tip says was a real irritation for him. “It’s a horrible customer experience.” 

2 yr. ago Poon Tip challenged his team to do better, and after much time, effort and money spent was pleased to show off a glimpse of the G Adventures new custom designed overland adventure vehicle. The LANDO as she has been called, is well equipped with modern amenities including air conditioning, ports for plugging in devices and wifi. LANDO will be the template for all G Adventures overland vehicles in Africa.

Do Big Small Things
He swore he wouldn’t do it again, but after a request by Harper Collins, Poon Tip has put out another book. He alone is credited as its writer, but insists that its creation was a community effort based on the ideas of what the brand means to people.

Do Big Small Things is, as Poon Tip describes it, “an activity book for adults.” Filled with thought provoking anecdotes and visuals, its intention is to encourage people to travel and see the world. Look for it in stores 27OCT.

River Cruises
“River boat cruising is off the charts“, said Poon Tip. It’s the fastest growing segment of the travel industry and so in 2016 G Adventures will join the ranks and expand its marine travel program to include this experience. But think small, really small. “Think 16, 24, 32, 48” added Poon Tip. Similar to their land adventures, river cruise groups will be small and use small ships that have been purpose built for their environment.

Ships will sail the Amazon, Ganges, Burgundy and Mekong while stopping at G Adventures social enterprise projects in the field.

National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures 
“It can be identified by a colour and a shape”, hinted Poon Tip regarding his final announcement of the evening. It was hard to imagine what else would follow so many other updates, but the reveal of the yellow portrait frame that came up on the large presentation screen said it all. Partnering with National Geographic is quite the impressive move, yet makes a lot of sense considering the many shared values of the 2 companies, including the notion of learning through exploration. 

Journeys with G Adventures is a collection of 70 travel experiences designed to take travellers deeper into the cultures and habitats of the places being explored.  The programs will launch in December with departures beginning 05JAN16.

Following the announcements, guests (an impressive 740 including travel and brand partners, media and G Adventures travellers) were invited to stay and mingle, enjoy the music, food and drink and purchase some of the market goods. All proceeds went directly to the Planeterra Foundation and their effort for the “G Adventures For Good” projects. Nearly $600K was raised! 

(will not be published)