Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) Adventure Champions are the vanguards of the adventure travel industry having been members of ATTA and leaders in the community for a minimum of 15 years. They are true believers in the power of adventure travel and have made an impact on the direction of ATTA and on the industry as a whole. To honor their commitment to their ethos and lasting contribution to the adventure travel industry we are spotlighting Adventure Champions through a series of interviews.
Trip Operations: Global
ATTA Member since 2005
Introducing Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of G Adventures
Tell us about G Adventures: G Adventures is the largest small group adventure holiday company in the world that was really early committed to social enterprise. Started foundation work in 1996 with the idea that sustainable development through tourism, which can be the greatest form of wealth distribution there is. Innovation is at the heart of what we do, finding new responsible ways in which people can see this beautiful planet.
Why have you stayed an ATTA member for 15+ years?
Admittedly suspicious at first, as I'm not a big fan of competitors getting together in associations, then stabbing each other in the back on the playing field. ATTA has done a really good job of walking that tightrope in a noble way to create camaraderie within a competitive industry, which I admire. I support Shannon in his work to unite and bring awareness to the industry.
How has your company changed over the last 15 years?
We're unrecognizable from 15 years ago. We have changed in every way, in every capacity of the business. We have an internal challenge to look back every 5-years with the goal of not being recognizable. 15 years ago we were rubbing sticks together to make fire! The largest contribution is the foundation work where we now have over 100 sustainable development projects all over the world. This has influenced the industry as a whole, something we are proud of.
What is the greatest force that drives you to work every day?
Our people. Changing people's lives, which starts with our people and branches out from there. The past 18 months have been the most challenging in my life, specifically, having to go into cultural heritage preservation work within the organization.
What gives you hope about the next generation of adventure travel leaders?
Not much, I'm a bit concerned about how the next generation will interact with the world. 56% of millennials would not travel to a destination they couldn't put on Instagram. Great leaders come out of a passion for the product. I think we needed a pandemic to save the future of the industry.
What is your advice for young adventure travel companies?
Get the hell out and save yourself! Learn to program or something, haha.
Know your market and don't try to be everything for everyone. Know your audience/customer. It's a very romantic dream to own an adventure travel company, but there is work besides finding your purpose.
What gets you excited about the future of adventure travel?
The formation of a community within the industry where beliefs and values are aligned with their holidays. For the first time, people are matching values with their holiday time which is something we've been shouting from the rooftops for 30 years. Coming out of the pandemic, people are finally understanding that travel is a privilege that we have in the developed world, not a right.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Coming out of the pandemic, it is my hope that people value the transformational opportunity that lies within travel. As an industry, we're constantly missing this opportunity by not being the transformational industry that the travel industry in general (not just adventure travel) can be.
I hope for more collaboration within the industry to collectively use travel as a vehicle to achieve everything it can be, from transforming lives and wealth distribution to being the fastest path to peace. I hope that the industry comes together to deliver it because the customer is going to be different - and I'm excited about that!
Connect with G Adventures on Social Media:
#gadventures #gadventurestours #ourworlddervesmoreyou #communitytourism