Yesterday was World Tourism Day and history was made in Canada. A tourism event pulled in 1000 people.
Watch the web cast here.
#Futourism renewed my hope and commitment to the cause of co-creating an alternative vision for tourism. Even though I wasn’t there and, due to a lousy Internet connection, could only experience part of it through the tweets in the twittersphere, I knew it marked an important milestone on the SHIFT towards a healthier, more balanced travel sector.
As I wasn’t there, I will quote from someone who was – Flight Centre Canada published this summary earlier today here.
The energy in the room was high as David Suzuki kicked off the night with his talk about how tourism not only introduces people to other cultures, but raised some bigger questions about how tourism can create a positive impact and how we, as travellers, can reduce our ecological footprint. This was further highlighted with Erica Harm’s presentation on how sustainable tourism can turn vanishing cultures to enduring ones.
Travel Blogger Gary Arndt also known in the twitterverse as @EverywhereTrip, stressed the importance that if we want to understand the changes in travel, we need to understand the changes in technology first. People are literally picking up their lives and working from different parts of the world as WIFI is becoming widely available in many countries.
But the anticipation rose throughout the night for ‘the big announcement’ to be made by Bruce Poon Tip. And big it was! With a series of videos and a heartfelt story from Bruce about his 21 years building his company, Bruce addressed a topic that’s been in chasing him for the past five years regarding the lawsuit between Gap Clothing in the US and his brand.
In 1990 Bruce Poon Tip launched Gap Adventures with the belief that other travellers would share his desire to experience authentic adventures in a responsible and sustainable manner. They’ve since grown from a one-man show to a company of over 500, and from a handful of trips in Latin America to hundreds of adventures spanning the globe. Which is why as a company, they’ve decided to take a step forward together and ‘free themselves’. Effective globally October 1st, the company formally known as Gap Adventures, will now be ‘G Adventures’
“The decision is liberating because we are confident in our product and people. I need to focus on the company and what I do best. We only dropped two letters, everything else remain the same. One of our fundamental principles here is to change the lives of anyone who comes into contact with our company. Our business model isn’t about bottom-lines and turnover. It’s about happiness, freedom and independence,” shares Poon Tip. “I’ve always believed that the secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage. This year, we are taking a bold step with our identity – a change that’s an evolutionary step into the future.”
1. Serve a Higher purpose. Bruce Toon Pip created his company in order to change the lives of anyone who comes into contact with it.
2. Create Transformational Experiences – G Adventures was out there doing “transformative travel” before it became a buzz word and bandwagon
3. Show You Care: G Adventures is a company that young people in travel long to work for and has created a culture that respects that fact that its employees are the brand. As a consequence its adaptive, nimble and innovative. Guests are happy.
G Adventures recognises that it must also put something back – It created The Planeterra Foundation for that purpose and assembled one of the best teams possible led by Megan Epler Wood one of the brightest lights in sustainable tourism.
4. Bruce’s company understands that all business is now social and their success in attracting, engaging and supporting travellers is due to their intelligent application of social media. They get “Conscious Marketing”
5. Last night at Futourism, G Adventures showed that it has what it takes to be a change agent and serve a larger community – in this case tourism as a whole
I felt a breath of fresh air blow across the country.
Dear peers in travel (ie those of you over 55 – let these guys shine. It’s their future and their turn. Our job is to hand over the reins and support as best we can.
Now sit back and enjoy their video – spread the word.