Changing Lives Through Travel03/08/2021
G Adventures is one tour operator that didn’t have to pivot dramatically to contend with the pandemic, said Jeremy Brady, national sales manager. He explained that the company has always offered small group programs, usually with a maximum of 16, and some of the best-selling excursions reduced to a maximum of 12.
In addition, he noted that G Adventures has always differentiated itself from its competitors through its emphasis on helping local economies and making sure they are impacted in a positive way by visitors. “We doubled down on that,” Brady said.
While adventure is in the company name, all trips have a difficulty meter of 1 to 5, with most rated at 2 or 3. For the latter, “if you can walk up a flight of stairs and carry bags, you can do it,” Brady said. “We’re feeling good about how things are opening up,” he said, adding that recent booking trends show that “we’re headed in the right direction.”
The operator has been active almost since the beginning of the pandemic, with an ongoing “campaign for retravel,” Brady said. That initiative started early on with a short book by company founder Bruce Poon Tip called “Unlearn: The Year the Earth Stood Still,” a “love letter to travellers,” which provides perspective on the current state of travel – and how it may be reinvented.
Agent as Heroes
G adventures have also enhanced its program with travel advisors, Brady said. He cited Poon Tip as saying that agents always emerge from massive disruptions as “heroes” because “they are advocates for their customers.”
As a result of this view, G Adventures has maintained its G-Normous incentive campaign in 2021, which offers a $ 3000 grand prize, other cash prizes, higher commissions and special discounts for advisors and their clients. The operator also brought back its agent discount policy, providing up to 50 % off and 25 % off three companions.
To help advisors sell during these difficult times, Brady said the company has begun offering more webinars on destinations that are available to Americans like Costa Rica and Peru, inviting advisors to bring in consumers to watch the presentations.
The company also relaunched its training program, which is offered through its Sherpa agent booking portal. Additionally, an Agent Backpack training program was introduced, which provides certification for specialists in National Geographic Family Journeys. Advisors can also keep up to date on G Adventures developments through its Agents of Change page on Facebook.
“We’re a firm believer that advisors will play a pivotal role and after this is over, travellers will be keener to work with travel professionals,” Brady said. “We call them ‘agents of change,’ and they are part of our mantra around changing lives through travel.”
“Book Your Bubble Collection”
G Adventures launched the “Book Your Bubble Collection,” which features groups of as few as eight people with the eighth spot offered at 50 % off.
For groups of 12, the 12th spot is free.
These trips “are for people who are ready to pull the trigger now,” said Jeremy Brady, national sales manager.
For those planning further ahead, there are liberal deposit, cancellation and rebooking policies in place.
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