G Adventures celebrates International Women's Day with travel experiences that empower women
A Belizean craftswoman teaches G Adventures' Kelly Galaski about traditional pottery making at the Belize Pottery Cooperative in San Antonio. Credit: G Adventures.

G Adventures celebrates International Women’s Day with new travel experiences

TORONTO — G Adventures has announced the launch of three new G Adventures for Good community development projects designed to support women in Morocco, Australia and Belize. The launch coincides with the United Nations’ International Women’s Day March 8, and kicks off a month-long campaign by the small-group tour operator called “Planet Her”, which aims to raise awareness and funds for additional projects that will benefit women around the world.

The new social enterprise projects announced today are being integrated into G Adventures’ itineraries, giving travellers access to three unique experiences:

Meknes, Morocco

The Morocco Community Lunch and cultural exchange helps to promote women’s rights, gender equality, and access to the formal economy for rural women in the region. On several G Adventures tours, including the eight-day Morocco Kasbahs and Desert Tour and the nine-day National Geographic Journeys tour, travellers visit the village of M’hoya where they receive a warm welcome from a group of women who serve up a delicious traditional lunch and offer basic lessons in Arabic.

G Adventures provided seed funding to support the project through local partner AFER (Association Des Femmes et Enfants Ruraux) and provided resources to renovate the group’s kitchen and dining area. Tourism income will help support the long-term job development of women in rural Morocco, with additional funds supporting health and education programs for a network of over 700 women and children in the region.

Queensland, Australia

G Adventures travellers have the opportunity to learn about and support the Aboriginal Jirrbal community in Tully, where tourism dollars have helped transform an old railway station into a café and vocational training centre for youth and women. The new Café Chloe, run by four Jirrbal women with G Adventures partner Ingan Tours, offers travellers lunches and training workshops in weaving and Aboriginal arts. It employs several Aboriginal women and their extended families, while encouraging more Jirrbal youth to invest in their community’s cultural heritage and economic recovery.

Travellers enjoy this special lunch and cultural exchange on select G Adventures tours, including the 12-day Sydney to Melbourne tour offered through National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures, and the Classic 10-day Brisbane to Cairns experience.

Southern Belize

G Adventures travellers are invited to purchase handicrafts and try their hand at ancient pottery making techniques with a group of female Mayan artisans. The Belize Pottery Cooperative was formed by the local San Antonio Women’s Group to encourage women in the region to share their traditional knowledge with visitors, and earn income that support their families. Without it, there are few opportunities for women’s employment beyond domestic service. Inclusion into several G Adventures itineraries, including the 12-day Mayan Encounter help provide a steady flow of customers and sustainable income.

“Through this project, we are already hearing about positive changes among the women involved. They used to be quite shy but this work has helped them find their confidence,” says G Adventures Program Manager for the Americas Kelly Galaski. “We are optimistic that the new cooperative will help encourage young Belizean girls in the community to study longer and grow up with the belief that they have more career options than domestic work.”

Empowering women through greater economic and educational opportunities is one of G Adventures’ primary goals as a social enterprise, and a key outcome of the U.N.’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Travel and tourism are among the most promising sectors to help achieve this.

G Adventures founder and leader Bruce Poon Tip says, “Women are the most influential and economically powerful group of consumers in travel and tourism, but they are underrepresented in leadership positions across the industry. Together with our trailblazing partners in countries around the world, we are eager to bring more female talent into the tourism supply chain and help change that.”

The three new social enterprises added to G Adventures’ itineraries this year complement many other female-focused G Adventures for Good projects in places like Nepal, Cambodia, India, Kenya and Peru. A few examples of successful projects include:

  • The Sisterhood of Survivors (SASANE) project in Nepal, which recently received a top award from the UN World Tourism Organization, offers employment and paralegal training to women who were victims of human trafficking and the forced labour trade.
  • Women on Wheels in India pairs female passengers with female drivers in New Delhi to provide both safe ground transport and sustainable tourism income that supports women and girls’ education and dreams.
  • Maasai Clean Cookstoves Project in Tanzania trains women to install clean cookstoves and solar panels, for healthier homes.

Through a month-long fundraising effort managed by the Planeterra Foundation, which serves as the nonprofit arm of G Adventures, the Planet Her Campaign aims to raise CAD $25,000 between March 8th and April 10th and highlight the vital but often undervalued role that women have in travel and tourism. Donations will go toward creating and supporting new projects that benefit women across the world.

For more information, go to gadventures.com.