6 Ways G Adventures Practices Ethical and Responsible Tourism
Since the company’s creation in 1990 by founder Bruce Poon Tip, G adventures has always led the way in creating ethical and sustainable travel and tourism. The travel industry can often have an incredible impact on world communities, big or small, and whether that impact is positive or negative is highly dependent on choices made by both the traveller and touring company. G Adventures have pioneered a handful of initiatives that contribute positively to the many destinations they visit around the globe. The consensus at G Adventures is that the planet is their product, and they must make every attempt to provide for its social and environmental well-being. In this CruisePlus Compass blog post, we’re going to cover just a few of the ways G Adventures makes a positive impact through tourism and has become an industry leader in sustainable, ethical tourism and is one of CruisePlus’ favourite land tour operators.
G Adventures: Connecting with Indigenous Communities
G Adventures professional guides are experts at assisting travellers to become fully immersed in a destination’s culture. This is accomplished by introducing explorers to indigenous communities throughout the world that continue to practice their culture’s traditions. This is a point of pride for G Adventures and they view it as an integral part of their identity as an innovative adventure tour company. As a company with reach into all corners of the globe, they’ve developed a strong commitment to preserving and respecting the rights, history, and culture of our planet’s indigenous communities while also committing to providing tourism-related support for their social and economic well-being. G Adventures aims to raise the standards for the entire travel industry through practical and ethical global guidelines.
Get Closer with GLocal
With a strong preference towards keeping all adventures local, G Adventures works in tandem with small, locally owned businesses rather than big international chain corporations. They hold a strong belief that your dollars should stay in the communities that spend them. When a traveller buys crafts, souvenirs or services from locals, that money stays within that community helping to bolster the local economy and help to sustain and improve the lives of its inhabitants. In 2016 G Adventures performed a study involving each of their on-tour suppliers across every destination (regardless of the size) to measure the impact G adventures has on these communities socially, ecologically and financially.
The numbers show exactly how much of a positive impact the travel industry can have on communities that might otherwise struggle financially. Take a look at just a few of the statistics that came from this recent study.
- 112,000: The number of people employed globally by G Adventures’ Contracted service providers
- 97% of on-tour suppliers employ sustainability practices in their operations
- 9/10 of suppliers purchase more than half of their supplies from local producers, markets, and farms
- Nearly 100% of on-tour experiences with G Adventures include visits to indigenous communities
- 50% of suppliers worldwide contribute to non-profit organizations or local groups
- 83% of supplier management staff are local
- 65% of included meals are based on local food and traditional cuisine
G Adventures: Putting Child Welfare first
Making absolutely sure no child is ever harmed as a result of tourism is a critical priority for G Adventures. Tourism and travel have the power to make a significant impact on the communities and destinations they visit and this is why G Adventures actively works tirelessly to ensure child welfare is protected in any community where they operate. Through a partnership with Friends International ChildSafe movement, an international guideline for the travel industry was developed to ensure child welfare standards are met and G Adventures ensures they adhere to these standards without question. This guideline extends beyond the obvious harmful behaviours and exposes the potential negative effects of common, well-intentioned efforts as well. These guidelines are available on the G Adventures Website and are well worth reading when you have the opportunity.
Supporting Animal Welfare While Abroad
G adventures actively opposes and discourages any practices that are considered illegal and those that may have a negative impact on animal welfare and do not condone tourism activities that are considered unnatural to wildlife or may endanger animals. This includes elephant or ostrich riding, unlicensed zoos, snake charming or any sanctuary that practices breeding for commercial trade and entertainment. It’s important that any animals encountered on any G Adventures tour are treated with the utmost respect and are left unbothered and protected in their natural habitat. The living conditions of any animal met on a G adventures tour must meet the Association of British Travel Agents Five Freedoms as a minimum requirement.
The Five Freedoms followed by G Adventures are:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
Giving Back with Planeterra
Established in 2003, by G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip, Planeterra is a non-profit organization created as a way for the global tour company to give back to the people and places they share and cherish with fellow travellers. Planeterra has been able to contribute millions of dollars towards projects including education, community centers, non-government organizations and social enterprise.
Here are a few examples in which Planeterra has had a positive impact on local communities:
- Health and sanitation – Bringing a steady stream of travellers into a community requires the development of a clean water supply and infrastructure for sanitation and hygiene. Upgrading these services for tourists also provides long-lasting and permanent benefits for the local residents.
- Women leading communities – Empowering women to participate in social enterprise development helps build their self- esteem and provides a chance to take on leadership roles within their communities, in some cases where women have not traditionally held leadership roles.
- Environmental Preservation – Travelers want to see the best of a region’s landscape. Capacity training helps provide essential tools for communities to practice improved land stewardship and protection of their local natural resources ensuring these natural attractions are around for future generations.
- Reduced urban migration – Youth in remote communities are often forced to leave their families to find jobs in larger cities in order to survive. Tourism can provide opportunities that allow them to build futures in their home communities as well as carry on traditions that they potentially could have lost through migrating to another community.
- Cultural celebration – Tourism experiences that include opportunities to learn about indigenous traditions can be influential in keeping cultural practices alive through knowledge sharing among community members
- Education – Providing financial stability to parents allows them to invest in their children’s education and allows youth income countries to be the first generation to attend higher education.
- Social enterprise – Many businesses are able to become self-sustaining in a much shorter time than others, thanks to the existing customer base from G Adventures and economic support through tourist dollars.
G Adventures Traveler Conduct Policy
Any G Adventure journey should be respectful, safe and a positive experience for any traveller and for that reason G Adventures has a mandatory conduct policy that’s intended to set the standards for the traveller to follow on their G adventures tour. G Adventures is a proud world leader in responsible and ethical tourism as well as innovative, authentic adventure travel and it is expected that its travellers abide by the same rules and code of ethics the company practices. The policy is of course in addition to applicable laws that may be present in any destination a traveller might visit. The policy is available in detail on the G Adventures website.
G Adventures is constantly working toward providing a greater positive social and economic impact through travel and we at CruisePlus could not be prouder to be able to work alongside such a great tour partner. Take a closer look at G Adventures tours and Exclusive CruisePlus Packages. Due to the popularity of G Adventures, many of the tours have limited spots available so make sure to call CruisePlus to book your vacation today! 1-800-854-9664