This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
1997 were his most difficult years, when fluctuations in currencies hit G Adventures hard. “We were selling in nine different currencies, making money, losing money depending on the currency – and then the price of fuel started to explode,” he says. At the same time, the rapid growth of the internet meant the consumer could suddenly research and book their own trips in a way they had never been able to before. “People were getting so much in- formation, so fast, that we had to react re- ally quickly. When you’re selling experienc- es and your competitor is the independent traveller, it’s a different way of creating a value proposition. It was hard.” Did he ever think the company might go under? “Yes. Between 1996 and 1997, it almost tipped over. It was a tough time. “At many points, companies like ours would have thought ‘we can’t survive if people can book services locally’. It forced us to work harder to create value for our customers, to offer them something they can’t book locally. We had to create some- thing that was beyond just a tour.”


SOCIAL MEDIA While the growth of the internet has creat- ed challenges, it’s also provided new op- portunities, and Poon Tip is excited by the potential of social media. All G Adventures staff are given social media training, and regular breaks to tweet, with their tweets posted on the G Adventure website so cus- tomers can see what the staff are saying about the company. “It’s about complete transparency,” he says.


“Social media means we have a more intimate relationship with customers than we had before – now we can engage with them, and hear their needs. It’s been a very interesting step and has forced us to be nimble and adapt to these changes.”


www.leisurehandbook.com


G Adventures operates in six continents, offering a wide range of trip styles


The company is also using technology in other innovative ways, such as with the launch of its wireless app, the Untourist, which aims to encourage people to travel in ways that benefit local communities. “With the Untourist, we’re giving out all of our information in terms of the restaurants we eat at, the hotels we stay at, the trans- port we use” says Poon Tip. “The whole concept of the Untourist is free informa- tion; our motto is: If you can’t travel with us, travel like us.


“The Untourist has been really suc- cessful, and it’s influencing the travel industry as a whole. For years it’s been tour operators’ well-guarded secret which hotels and restaurants they use. We’re the first company to say that the hotels and


restaurants and transportation we use are just a small part of what we do. All of those things are important to us, but it’s not the magic of our programme.” Poon Tip is driven by people. “The people that work for my business, the people all over the world that touch our brand every day. The fact we’re breaking the cycle of poverty for thousands who are involved in executing our services. “It’s more of a calling than a job for me,” he says, “It’s a big responsibility and I don’t take it lightly.” l


From Leisure Management Issue 3 2012, p38


READ MORE ONLINE CLICK HERE LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014 31


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166  |  Page 167  |  Page 168  |  Page 169  |  Page 170  |  Page 171  |  Page 172  |  Page 173  |  Page 174  |  Page 175  |  Page 176  |  Page 177  |  Page 178  |  Page 179  |  Page 180  |  Page 181  |  Page 182  |  Page 183  |  Page 184  |  Page 185  |  Page 186  |  Page 187  |  Page 188  |  Page 189  |  Page 190  |  Page 191  |  Page 192  |  Page 193  |  Page 194  |  Page 195  |  Page 196  |  Page 197  |  Page 198  |  Page 199  |  Page 200  |  Page 201  |  Page 202  |  Page 203  |  Page 204  |  Page 205  |  Page 206  |  Page 207  |  Page 208  |  Page 209  |  Page 210  |  Page 211  |  Page 212  |  Page 213  |  Page 214  |  Page 215  |  Page 216  |  Page 217  |  Page 218  |  Page 219  |  Page 220  |  Page 221  |  Page 222  |  Page 223  |  Page 224  |  Page 225  |  Page 226  |  Page 227  |  Page 228  |  Page 229  |  Page 230  |  Page 231  |  Page 232  |  Page 233  |  Page 234  |  Page 235  |  Page 236