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INTERVIEW


G Adventures off ers a range of small-ship cruises aboard the 126-passenger M/S Expedition, which it bought in 2009


THE OFFER G Adventures (the company changed its name in 2011 following a copyright infringement ruling in a suit brought by the retailer Gap Inc) offers small group adventure tours in Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, Central America and Antarctica. The tours are organised into different ‘styles’ to help travel- lers pick – these include Active tours, Family Tours, Voluntours (which include an element of voluntary work) and Limited Edition tours, which feature trips that take in one-off events such as cultural festivals and carnivals. The tours all use local transporta- tion – which can range from buses and trains to rickshaws and camels – and ‘authentic’ accommodation to try and bring the traveller closer to the communities they are travelling in. Keeping group sizes small is also


important, says Poon Tip, with an average group size of 10, and a maxi- mum of around 16 on any trip. The company also owns the cruise ship M/S Expedition and offers cruises to locations including the Arctic, Antarctica, the Amazon and Greenland. Earlier this year, G Adventures launched its Local Living programme. “It’s a new brand that gives people the


IN HIS OWN WORDS


Poon Tip on who he admires and what makes him tick


Who do you admire in business? I like great leaders. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was a fantastic innovator. I admire Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu on the spiritual, motivational side. Richard Branson, who I’ve had a chance to meet, is a great leader and a great mind in terms of sustainable thinking.


What do you do for fun, outside work? Work is fun! Outside of work, I play a lot of sports. I also enjoy staying at home – I travel so much that my vacation is sit- ting in the garden. I have two children, aged eight and 10, and my passion is travelling with them, because they are still


40 Read Leisure Management online leisuremanagement.co.uk/digital


chance to stay in a farmhouse in Italy, or live with a local family in Chile. It gives people a different experience,” says Poon Tip. G Adventures has also teamed up with the Discovery Channel to cre- ate Discovery Adventures, offering 31 Discovery Channel-inspired trips to 18 destinations. “It’s a very big programme with more elements of


amazed by everything. I took them to Peru in March. I’ve probably been to Peru 50 times in the last 20 years – we have 300 employees there – but going with my kids is a totally different experi- ence, as they have new eyes for everything.


What is your philosophy on life? As far as I’m concerned our whole purpose in life is to create happiness and to be happy. Happiness is free, for everybody, if you want it; you just have to create an environment where you can achieve it. At G Adventures, our whole business model is centred around creating happiness, and that goes for anyone who touches


our brand – our employ- ees, our travellers, our travel agents.


What has been the highlight of your career? There have been so many highs. This year the Social Venture Institute inducted me into its hall of fame – I was pretty excited about that. Two years ago National Geographic com- piled a list of the best adventure travel compa- nies on earth and we were number one. That was pretty nice. We always tell people how great we are, but it’s nice when other people say it too. We have also achieved a lot of milestones with the Planeterra Foundation, which has been a real high for everyone.


ISSUE 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012


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