TORONTO — G Adventures has set its sights on post-pandemic growth by securing a capital investment from private equity firm Certares.
According to G Adventures’ founder Bruce Poon Tip, who remains the controlling shareholder of the business, the investment will allow the tour operator to pursue mergers and acquisition opportunities, investments in shared services platform upgrades, and execute its mission of changing people’s lives through travel.
“I’m extremely excited that our partners at Certares share our vision and believe in us to identify and realize incredible opportunities for our people, our business and our industry – they truly understand our company and are experts in the travel space,” said Poon Tip. “I have always said tourism can be the biggest form of wealth distribution the world has ever seen, and this investment means we can do even more to build back travel the right way.”
Greg O’Hara, founder and Senior Managing Director of Certares, added: “G Adventures’ commitment to providing travellers with authentic experiences, and to benefitting the local communities in the places they travel to, has resulted in exceptional customer satisfaction and market-leading growth. We are thrilled to be partnering with G Adventures and supporting its growth initiatives.”
David Lande, Managing Director or Certares, also added: “G Adventures is a best-in-class company with an impressive management team that has demonstrated innovation in its operating model, and has built a company with an excellent brand. It has truly differentiated itself by simultaneously providing travellers with meaningful experiences and through giving back to the destinations visited.”
During Travelweek’s ‘Future of Travel: A Brand New Year’ virtual conference last week, Poon Tip, who served as a keynote speaker, said that G Adventures had an “amazing” January in terms of bookings, hitting 127% of its targets for the month. Though the tour operator is currently running about 40-50 trips right now, a far cry from the thousands it usually operates each month, Poon Tip is encouraged by numbers he’s already seeing in February.
“The numbers are still going and we’re not even offering sales at the moment,” he said. “We’re seeing green shoots of a return and we’re hoping to get some people this summer – that’s our goal. Our customers have been quite resilient and very open, to the point where our NPS (Net Promoter Score) scores are higher than they’ve ever been.”