I’m not a big reader of travel books, preferring, I suppose, to come to my own conclusions about a destination; but I also choose other material as a mechanism to divert my mind a little from the day job in travel, no matter how much I love it.
Having said that, one “travel” book that I did read, and loved, is Bruce Poon Tip’s “Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Re-inventing Business.” You might know Poon Tip as the founder of G Adventures, the Toronto-based small group adventure travel company that has gone global and launched a significant non-profit foundation (Planterra) to further its philanthropic goals. Bruce is one of the Canadian travel industry’s great achievers and characters – just visit G’s unusual Toronto “base camp” HQ for a taste of his unique vision... I won’t get into the details of the 2013 tome, but, trust me, it’s an easy and fascinating read.
On a more tangible note, there certainly a lot going on at G these days; here’s brief look:
• Time is running out to apply for one of G’s Adventures’ 2018 spring FAMS. Destinations include Sri Lanka, Croatia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Peru with trip lengths ranging from eight to 11 days, all of them departing in April and May. Prices span from $299 (Sri Lanka) to $799 (South Africa) per person, land only; for details contact your local Global Purpose Specialist (BDM) and submit at: http://www.cadfams.com/.
• So long “Yolo.” At least so long to the name. G’s popular youth product brand is now being called “18 to Thirtysomethings” in an effort to clearly emphasize the demographic it targets (18 to 39). Yolo was launched in 2012 and has seen 85 per cent passenger growth rate since then. Eight new tours have also been added in destinations such as Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.
• Growing demand for Sri Lanka has prompted G Adventures to launch sailing excursions in the South Asian destination. The small group tours on the southern coast are a first in the industry, says G. Itineraries include the seven-day “Sri Lanka Sailing” trip, starting from Feb. 2, 2018, and “Sri Lanka Land & Sea,” a 14-day combo tour that includes a safari and visit to historic Galle. The latter is priced from $3,399.
• New tours to Oman and Hawaii highlight G Adventures’ recently announced 2018 collection of Classic trips. The destinations are another first for G and attributed to a rising interest in the Middle East by the tour operator’s clientele. In total, the Classic program will have 34 new itineraries, including in Portugal and Ethiopia. “Oman is one of the best kept secrets in this part of the world and is often described as the Switzerland of the Middle East because of its independence,” says Middle East Product Manager Sofia Montezo. “It’s a beautiful mix of ancient history and modern living.”
Meanwhile, G’s first-ever Hawaii program will explore The Big Island, Maui, Oahu and Kauai, and is described as “perfect for travellers looking for a more adventurous and cultural experience beyond big bus tours and resort vacations.”
• The Stop, Book and Go sale has been extended to Dec. 31. Clients can save up to 20 per cent on select itineraries in South America, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Cuba departing before Jan. 31. (www.gadventures.com/stop-book-and-go)
Sailing in Sri Lanka.