Travellers can help lend a hand to support people, including tour guides, who relied on tourism to survive. Picture: Supplied.
Travellers can help lend a hand to support people, including tour guides, who relied on tourism to survive. Picture: Supplied.

How travellers made G Adventures launch three funds to support communities affected by Covid-19

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jun 18, 2020

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G Adventures created three separate funds, including CEO Wellbeing Fund, Planeterra Impact Fund and Porters Support Fund, following the demand by travellers who wanted to help communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds aim to support its chief experience officers, tour guides, Inca Trail porters, cooks and horsemen, and local community projects that typically rely on tourism to survive and flourish. 

The new CEO Wellbeing Fund enables travellers to express their gratitude by contributing to the people who have played a meaningful role in turning their trips into truly life-changing experiences. The fund has been created to promote the overall health, wellbeing and happiness of CEOs who may need financial support following an accident, natural disaster, or through illness or difficult circumstances. While G Adventures has always helped its CEOs on an ad-hoc basis, the current landscape has prompted the decision to create a more permanent, long-term fund, which will be managed by G Adventures non-profit partner, Planeterra. 

The Porters Support Fund had been established specifically for those Inca Trail porters, cooks and horsemen who have been unable to work due to the effects of Covid-19. These men and women play an essential part in every Sacred Valley trek, and many live in remote villages that are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of tourism. The fund gives past travellers who have hiked the Inca Trail, Lares Trek, Salkantay Trail or Choquequirao Trek the opportunity to give back to the amazing team that makes these trips possible.

The Planeterra Impact Fund has been created to help people at existing Planeterra projects (there are 85 projects in more than 50 countries) which rely on travellers visiting to earn an income. Planeterra is encouraging travellers to “turn travel into impact from home” by donating to help these social enterprises to weather the storm and enable them to continue providing memorable experiences to travellers in the future. 

Founder of G Adventures Bruce Poon Tip will match the first $50 000 (R863 157) of donations to both the CEO Wellbeing and Planeterra Impact Funds. 

“I’ve had hundreds, if not thousands, of letters asking me how to help. This is what makes our community of travellers different. We transcend travel when our collective humanity extends support during difficult times. These funds all have been launched to answer requests to help people in need. It is one of the most heartwarming movements I’ve witnessed in my 30 years of building G Adventures as a leader in social enterprise and community tourism. 

“Our teams on the ground pour their hearts into making sure our travellers have life-changing experiences on every trip, and the connections they make with travellers can last a lifetime. These new funds represent our commitment to community tourism by offering the opportunity to make a positive change at a time we can’t do that through travelling,” he said. 

He said 100% of all donations will go directly to the people impacted. 

"This gives these valued members of our G Adventures community the flexibility to determine how best to use these donations to address their individual needs," he said 

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