Tourism

“We’re a 28 year old startup”: G Adventures founder and Travel DAZE headliner Bruce Poon Tip

Lauren Croft

In 1990, Bruce Poon Tip founded G Adventures with nothing but two maxed out credit cards.

28 years later, it’s safe to say the company has grown.

From a handful of trips in Latin America to over 700 itineraries covering the whole world, Poon Tip turned a one-man show into a million dollar company – all while staying true to his own values of sustainable and responsible travel. In the last five years, he’s penned two books on his success.

Oh, and he’s also speaking at Travel DAZE next week! For one day only, you can nab yourself some half-price tickets right here!

Poon Tip usually declares September a “no travel month” each year because of G Adventure’s annual global conference, but this year, he made an exception.

This year happens to be G Adventure’s 25th anniversary in Australia – the company started selling to Aussies in 1993 – and Poon Tip said he’s saving a few special announcements for Travel DAZE.

“[Australia is] a very important market for us,” he told Travel Weekly from his home in Canada.

“I’m very fond of our partners and the agencies over there – it’s a very professional industry and it’s very different to anywhere else in the world.”

After almost three decades of growth and change, 200,000 travellers now experience G Adventure’s itineraries every year, and the company has over 2000 staff in 28 offices all over the world.

“Our first two destinations were Galapagos and Belize, and that was in 1990. So we started right off the map pretty much, but now we have trips to over 100 countries,” Poon Tip told TW. 

But despite this massive growth, Poon Tip said the company isn’t slowing down any time soon.

“After 28 years, we’re still in high growth mode: I would say we’re a 28 year old startup.

“For us, we’re doing a lot of great research and development right now. We work with governments to promote sustainable development. And [we’re] having a real impact on the entire scope of the travel industry, not just our niche sector.

“We have a much bigger audience and a much bigger impact,” he said.

G Adventures have made sustainable and responsible travel priorities – supporting local communities within each itinerary, employing local guides and visiting indigenous communities in over 40 countries.

97 per cent of the company’s on-tour suppliers employ sustainability practices in their operations, and according to Poon Tip, this is a travel trend more and more consumers are getting on board with.

“We have an opportunity as an industry to be a powerful force, because people are travelling to some of the poorest countries in the world and we have the opportunity as an industry to be better, to create impact,” he said.

“That market is really growing, and the consumer in that market is really growing as well.

“It’s more the travel trend of social enterprise and what the modern consumer is looking for. It’s how consumers are changing their buying patterns and matching their values to their purchases and how travel is such a big part of that.”

You can hear more of Bruce Poon Tip’s wisdom at Travel DAZE 2018!

Travel DAZE will be held on Monday 3 September 2018 at Belvoir St Theatre. That’s in just five days time! Grab yourself some tickets here.

For all other info or for a cheeky discount, contact Daisy Melwani: daisy@travelweekly.com.au.

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