A Travel Junkie’s Quest to Create Social Good
Note: In honor of Social Venture Network’s 25-year anniversary, the network is inducting 25 of its most innovative and influential leaders into its hall of fame Nov. 13 at Gotham Hall in New York City. To recognize these sustainable business pioneers, SVN’s news program, ‘Sustainable Solutions,’ is interviewing the hall-of-famers to celebrate their accomplishments and learn what more needs to be done. Read the whole series here.
When you create a business that offers something the consumer demands, but does so in a socially-responsible manner that accounts for all angles of impact on people and the environment, it can take on a mind of its own — in a good way.
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, will go so far as to say there’s a solid bit of karma built into his business, which has enjoyed double-digit growth for more than 20 years.
Bruce had just returned from a two-month “travel bender” that saw him touch foot on five continents, when he found a few minutes to discuss his name being added to the list of the top 25 social impact companies to receive Social Venture Network (SVN) Impact Awards at this fall’s SVN Hall of Fame celebration.
Such is the nature of life in the adventure travel business, a life he’s enjoyed ever since he started G Adventures in 1990 — a life where business and pleasure continually intersect in powerful ways across the planet.
The company has grown from one man’s idea to make authentic, sustainable, low-impact adventure travel a reality for socially-conscious wanderers the world over to a company with 1,500 team members spread out across the planet.
Around 100,000 people a year turn to the company to fill their desire for a different kind of travel experience; a far cry from the cruise ships, bus tours and all-inclusive resorts that tend to dominate the $200-billion-a-year travel industry.
As he reflected on the honor of receiving the accolades from SVN he considered how being true to his original vision has led to the achievements he’s most proud of. This includes the creation of Planeterra in 2003, a nonprofit organization that leverages the might of the global travel and tourism industry to enhance communities where G Adventures and its partners operate.
“We’ve managed to change so many peoples’ lives with this foundation and break the cycle of poverty for thousands of people,” he says.
He was in Peru back in April with his eight- and ten-year-old daughters where they volunteered for a few days at one of his foundation’s youth homes for street kids. Seeing this work through his children’s eyes “was new energy for me,” he says, and is a great source of pride.
That pride will fuel Bruce’s efforts as G Adventures and Planeterra continues to grow, he says, and there’s no intention of ever slowing down.
This article written by Axiom News is part of a Social Venture Network series engaging its Hall of Fame honorees.