Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — G Adventures has acquired small group youth travel specialist, TruTravels.
The TruTravels deal is the latest acquisition to be made by G Adventures, which also acquired British brands Travelsphere, Just You, Swan Hellenic and Page & Moy in January 2017.
TruTravels is based in Surrey, UK and was co-founded in 2012 by entrepreneurs Joe Fallon and Mark Pope who will continue to run the company as partners and minority shareholders.
While the acquisition broadens G Adventures’ reach into the youth travel sector, the company’s founder, Bruce Poon Tip, says he wants to emphasize that TruTravels will remain ‘tru’ to its own unique brand identity, style of trip delivery, and way of communicating with their customers, who predominantly fall into the 18-25 year old demographic.
“Earlier this year, I realized we were missing a beat with a new, grassroots style of small group travel that was emerging for young people. When I started digging deeper into what TruTravels does, I discovered that while their ethos is closely aligned to ours, the way they communicate, and how they travel, is so different to G Adventures that we couldn’t compete,” said Poon Tip.
“For this reason, we don’t want to change what TruTravels does. Joe and Mark are doing an incredible job in this space with this new style of fun-focussed travel which is rooted in meeting new people and driven by social media influences. Our aim is to give them a boost so they can do more of what they already do so well, and we welcome them to the G Adventures family of brands as a complementary business,” he added.
TruTravels’ co-founders Joe Fallon and Mark Pope say the new partnership means achieving their dream of becoming a global operator faster and more efficiently, as they now have access to the supply chain and distribution networks G Adventures has built over the past 28 years of operation.
“While there are clear differences in the style of trips TruTravels runs, and the travellers we attract, the similarities we have with G Adventures are how we knew they were the right partners for us. Both brands’ sales are dominated by travel agency sales and both attract travellers from a number of different countries,” said Fallon.
While there are no immediate changes to TruTravels’ ‘TruCrew’, which is made up of 25 staff based in Surrey and 40 tour guides in Asia, the company does have plans to expand its sales team as its agency distribution network grows.
As well as helping TruTravels grow this network, G Adventures says it will be supporting TruTravels in increasing their supply chain access, as well as with shared resourcing in areas such as technology, talent acquisition and finance.