Thursday , June 20 2019
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Travel as a Positive Force

G Adventures is doing well by doing good. The operator, whose core mission is using travel as a force for good, has introduced a portfolio of new and enhanced products in the last year, including TailorMade, its entry into private custom tours; an expanded partnership with National Geographic Journeys; a new Wellness series of tours; and the expansion of agent incentive campaigns.

Input from Travel Agents

The TailorMade product was based on a survey of over 400 global travel advisors, 84 percent of whom reported an increase in requests for private, customized tours, said Jeremy Brady, national sales manager for the U.S. Among U.S. agents, that figure was 93 percent, with 59 percent describing this kind of travel as being in “high demand.” As a result, G Adventures has begun to offer these programs in its 11 most popular destinations, with expansion to come.

The company aims to tie its philosophy into everything it does, to the point of calling its regional salespeople “global purpose specialists.” That means focusing on areas where travel can make an impact in goals like wealth distribution.

One recently introduced innovation was the Ripple Factor, which measures how much money spent by travelers locally stays within the community.

Wide Swath of Offerings

While G Adventures has long been associated with adventure travel, the company offers trips that can work for any client or budget, from value excursions for younger people to more high-end trips with National Geographic Journeys, Brady said. “Agents can really qualify our clients by looking at the different travel styles on our site.”

While the operator has been partnering with National Geographic Journeys since 2015, it has now taken over the family travel portion of that company’s portfolio. National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures are now bookable with travel starting in 2020. The portfolio includes 12 trips to Europe, Africa and South America. Each is led by two chief experience officers and features extensive activities geared to young people.

Wellness Tour Series Debuts

A new Wellness line offers trips in 10 destinations across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Brady said. G Adventures realized it could incorporate wellness elements into its tours in a more affordable way than is generally available by offering travelers lifestyle choices that involve mindfulness (setting intentions, going slower), nourishment (healthy dining, cooking classes) and movement (yoga, hiking, paddleboarding).

These trips are for people who want to maintain their healthy habits while traveling, said Brady. They don’t have to go all in, he said, “but we are aiming to appeal to that group of people who really want to take care of themselves.”

The message from G Adventures? Agents can feel good—and do well—by booking the operator’s trips.

Agent Advantages

—The first-ever Change Makers Challenge campaign earlier this year was designed to show agents how travel can be a force for change. Advisors who booked the most clients will be traveling to Peru in June to witness how the operator uses tourism as a contributor to local communities.

—G-Normous, the company’s annual sales campaign, now in its sixth year, offers different incentives in each of the first four months of the year. In 2019, prizes total more than $100,000, including a jackpot of $7,500.Agents with a Sherpa account (the agent portal is Sherpa.gadventures.com) are automatically registered.

—To keep advisors up to date on all its initiatives, the company recently added two global purpose specialists to the U.S. market—one in California and one in the Northeast.