G Adventures ‘Ripple Score’ Aims To Gauge Local Impact

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Today is World Tourism Day and adventure tour operator G Adventures has unveiled what it is calling an industry-first -- the ‘Ripple Score’ -- an evaluation score for its trips which indicates what percentage of a tour’s local expenditure remains in the local economy.

G Adventures says that as a responsible tour operator, it aims to use local services and employ 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 supply chain analysis survey from which the Ripple Score is the first outcome. 

Jamie Sweeting, G Adventures’ vice president of 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.

As a result of the survey, 640 of G Adventures’ approximately 700 trips have been given a Ripple Score.

These scores now appear alongside each trip on the G Adventures website. They will also be published in G Adventures’ 2019 brochures which are available from mid-NOV.

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 celebrate Indigenous cultures.

For more information on the Ripple Score initiative, click here.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.

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