TORONTO — G Adventures is teaming up with Hostelworld to offer a new style of travel to 18 to 35-year-olds.
Called ‘Roamies’, the small-group tours are available in 15 countries, with accommodation in hostels, more than 50 in all. There are 38 tours in the Roamies program and departures start in May 2022. Group size is 16 – 24 travellers. Countries visited include Albania, Austria, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam.
Sample itineraries for Roamies programs include Gotta-See Europe: Germany, Austria & Italy – Amsterdam to Rome (17 days, from $3,849 per person); The Peruvian Coast: Seafood, Sandboarding & Dune Buggies (5 days, from $749 per person); and South East Asia Trifecta: Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangkok (11 days, from $1,229 per person).
Hostels have generally been a no-go when it comes to travel agent commission, but the Roamies program changes that.
In a Zoom announcement yesterday about the new partnership, G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip said hostels have come a long way. Most people think of rooms filled with bunk beds, but these days there are “swim-up bars and rooftop terraces”, said Poon Tip.
Plus, hostels are at the heart of the tourism eco-system, with a sense of community that matches exactly the G Adventures ethos. “They’re places to start an adventure, and hang out with like-minded people,” he said.
The mindset of the traveller has changed during the pandemic, according to G Adventures’ stats.
More young travellers are embracing the ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle, combining travel with work on the road. In December 2020 some 19% of respondents to a G Adventures survey said they looked forward to combining travel and work on their trips. Now, more than a year and a half into the pandemic, that number had climbed to 37% in a more recent survey.
Hostels offer connections, not just for tech and WiFi, but for solo travellers too, says Poon Tip. Many of G Adventures’ travellers are looking for camaraderie, and also security. Two-thirds of G Adventures’ clients are solo travellers, and two-thirds are women. “These Roamies trips capture the free spirit of adventure, with the security of a group, but also take away the label of a ‘tour’. They just bring people together. So we’re pretty excited about it.”
Hostelworld Group CEO Gary Morrison was also on the Zoom call for the announcement. “I’ve been a big fan of Bruce Poon Tip for years,” said Morrison, adding that the partnership with G Adventures offers an opportunity to create a new type of backpacking adventure for young travellers. “We truly admire G Adventures’ ability to create tailored group tours that put meeting new people and supporting local communities as the focal point, something our customers are extremely passionate about.”
Hostelworld has more than 17,000 properties on its platform, he added.
Roamies tours will be sold by both G Adventures and Hostelworld, as well as through travel advisors.
For details see http://gadventures.com/roamies.