This story was updated on Monday, January 16 at 7:14 a.m. EST
G Adventures has formed a new holding company, called G Travel Community (GTC), so it can bring its brands together under one entity and make space for new acquisitions.
The update was first reported last week by Skift, which noted that company founder Bruce Poon Tip will take over as chairman of the G Travel Community.
The move comes two years after G Adventures secured a large investment from private equity firm Certares.
The investment enables G to accelerate its pursuit of merger and acquisition opportunities, investments in shared services platform upgrades and to execute its mission of changing people’s lives through travel.
Poon Tip told Skift that the restructuring is part of a five-year, multi-brand strategy, focused on creating a positive impact through community-led growth across all spheres of travel.
G Adventures hasn’t made any acquisitions since receiving its funding in February 2021.
“Certares are making zero demands on us, and while we have not made any acquisitions in two years, there is undoubtedly an expectation that we do,” Poon Tip told Skift.
He said the goal of his holding company is to bring more brands and travel companies under one umbrella so they have a greater impact on a wider audience.
“We’ve had great success with what we do globally as G Adventures, but we have a limited scope on our audience,” Poon Tip told Skift. “With the formation of GTC we are finally creating a community – a stable of travel brands that can really drive change to a wider demographic of people, who love to travel, but at the same time want to change the world.”
Current brands joining G Adventures in the GTC portfolio are G Touring (Travelsphere and Just You) and TruTravels, which are both based out of the United Kingdom.
Planeterra, G Adventures’ non-profit partner, will also benefit from this “shared services” model.
The announcement will also result in senior leadership changes.
Jeff Russill, currently chief operating officer for G Adventures, will become the chief executive officer of GTC, overseeing the G Adventures, TruTravels and G Touring brands.
Ben Perlo, currently managing director for G Adventures in the U.S., will become president and CEO for the G Adventures brand, in addition to his current role in the short-term. Perlo will remain based in Boston.
Travel with impact
Any companies G would add to its community would have to fit into the community’s purpose, Poon Tip said.
As per a news release issued Monday (Jan. 16), the GTC brands are united in a mission to “bring people together through travel to affect positive change” – changing the lives of the traveller community, those of the local people in communities benefiting from tourism, and all GTC team members across the business.
All brands will be supported from a centralized administrative standpoint, with each brand retaining its own sales and marketing function, customer services, product development, unique style of tour operations, and its own unique values and identity.
Poon Tip told Skift he was confident that his company would be able to deliver on the growth needed to meet the investment terms agreed to.
It’s also a good time to announce a new community-centric business model, Poon Tip noted in Monday’s release.
“G Adventures formed an investment partnership with Certares one year ago, with the goal of implementing an acquisition strategy for the business. The pandemic lasted much longer than we thought it would, which gave us the time to build an even more solid structure and foundation to deliver on our long-term multi-brand strategy, and to place a laser focus on the importance of cementing a sense of community throughout our organization,” Poon Tip stated.
“The formation of GTC – the travel community – signifies that this sense of community is truly at the heart of our entire business, from the naming of our holding company all the way through to our community tourism projects on the ground.”
“We are the pioneers of community tourism, so it's exciting to see this be fully embraced internally as well as externally.”
It also comes down to having a greater impact on the world, Poon Tip said.
“For 32 years G Adventures has had a positive impact on both our travellers and the communities we visit, but our goal is always to have a far bigger impact in the wider world of tourism,” he said.
“With the formation of GTC we are finally creating that community – a stable of travel brands that can really drive change to a wider demographic of people who love to travel, but at the same time want to change the world.”
The GTC holding company is now fully operational, with all leadership changes taking effect immediately.