TORONTO — G Adventures is introducing a Vaccinated Tours program, with each trip led by a fully vaccinated chief experience officer (CEO or tour guide), and with all trip participants also fully vaccinated.
The company says that due to the high number of tours and destinations G Adventures is currently operating in, and the slower roll-out of vaccines in some destinations, the adventure operator is also introducing ‘Travel-Ready’ tours to ensure equitable access to tourism employment opportunities for CEOs in destinations which have not yet been able to administer vaccinations as widely as others. G Adventures is also actively assisting CEOs to access vaccines in their home countries.
Of the tours departing in October, 304 departures across 116 tours will operate as Vaccinated Tours and 64 departures will be designated as Travel-Ready.
On Vaccinated Tours, all travellers and CEOs must have received a full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days prior to day one of the tour.
On Travel-Ready tours, all travellers and CEOs must have either received a full COVID-19 vaccination, or have a negative PCR test within 96 hours prior to day one of their tour’s departure.
Vaccinated Tours and Travel-Ready Tours will be designated with an icon featured next to each trip at gadventures.com to indicate which category of tour the departure falls under.
“By October we will have successfully, and safely, run close to 1,000 tours since September 2020 – more tours than any other operator – supporting employment and boosting the local economies of countries that are dependent on tourism, such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Morocco, Peru and Kenya. We are starting with Vaccinated Tours in October and will be adding future departures as we confirm CEOs and travellers are all fully vaccinated in order to lead and travel on those itineraries,” says Jeff Russill, COO, G Adventures.
“As a global operator, we also want to ensure travel equity for those travellers who haven’t been able to be vaccinated as yet due to their age and / or home country, as we have travellers from more than 160 countries join our trips. We expect vaccination rates to increase in most destinations later this year, and as they do we will be operating even more Vaccinated Tours,” he added.
According to G Adventures’ data, when surveyed, 56% of travellers globally expressed that having a vaccinated CEO was actually more important to them than their fellow travellers being fully vaccinated, which 45% of travellers indicated they would prefer when travelling on a small group tour. The results are based on 4,624 responses from G Adventures’ April 2021 global consumer panel, of which two thirds are former travellers and 1,498 are Canadian.
The Vaccinated Tours and Travel-Ready programs represent an evolution of G Adventures’ existing Travel with Confidence policy which remains in place. This policy was introduced in June, 2020, and saw the implementation of enhanced health, safety and physical distancing measures across all tours.