TORONTO — G Adventures’ non-profit partner Planeterra raised more than US$75,000 with its first Planeterra Trek Challenge, with funds going to local communities who are suffering economically as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
The challenge was for individuals and teams around the world to virtually trek the 85,000 steps it would take to climb to Everest Base Camp, while raising awareness of tourism in the region and highlighting community tourism’s ability to reduce poverty and empower communities. The challenge was launched in late August.
G Adventures says the local team from The Travel Agent Next Door took the top spot globally with the most steps at 514,646.
The virtual event featured a number of travel agent teams, as well as teams from travel brands G Adventures, TruTravels, Travelsphere and JustYou, with Planeterra’s founder Bruce Poon Tip competing in his own team and leading the fundraising efforts with more than US$13,000 raised. Poon Tip also matched donations up to US$19,000.
“What we witnessed is an incredible show of support from Planeterra’s global community, which grew in the weeks before, and during the Planeterra Trek Challenge,” says Planeterra President Jamie Sweeting.
“Travellers love authentic experiences that give back to the communities they visit, and by raising these funds they demonstrated that they want our local partners to be there when we’re all able to travel again,” said Sweeting.
Donations will provide kickstarter funding for communities worldwide that need to invest in new health and safety measures, provide training to safely reopen, and ensure communities remain resilient and safe for years to come, he added.