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Published on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

G Adventures pledges cash to support guides, porters and local communities

G Adventures has created three funds to support is tour guides, Inca Trail porters, cooks and horsemen, and local community projects that rely on tourism.

It said it had acted in response to an 'overwhelming' number of requests from clients wanting to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Founder Bruce Poon Tip has pledged to donate up to $50,000.

The CEO Wellbeing Fund will promote the overall health and wellbeing of 'chief experience officers', or tour guides, who might need financial support following an accident, natural disaster, illness or difficult circumstances.

"While G Adventures has always helped its CEOs on an ad-hoc basis, the current landscape has prompted the decision to create a more permanent, long-term fund, which will be managed by G Adventures non-profit partner, Planeterra," it said.

A Porters Support Fund has been set up specifically for Inca Trail porters, cooks and horsemen who have been unable to work due to the effects of Covid-19.

"These men and women are an essential part of every Sacred Valley trek, and many live in remote villages that are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of tourism," said G Adventures. "This fund gives past travellers who have hiked the Inca Trail, Lares Trek, Salkantay Trail or Choquequirao Trek the opportunity to give back to the amazing team that makes these trips possible."

The Planeterra Impact Fund has been created to help people at 85 existing Planeterra projects in more than 50 countries whose livelihoods depend on tourism. "Planeterra is encouraging travellers to 'turn travel into impact from home' by donating to help these social enterprises to weather the storm and enable them to continue providing memorable experiences to travellers in the future," added G Adventures.

Poon Tip will match the first $50K of donations to both the CEO Wellbeing and Planeterra Impact Funds. He said he has been 'humbled by the outpouring of concern and compassion from travellers'.

"I've had hundreds, if not thousands, of letters asking me how to help," he said. "This is what makes our community of travellers different - we transcend travel when our collective humanity extends support during difficult times. These funds all have been launched to answer requests to help people in need. It is one of the most heartwarming movements I've witnessed in my 30 years of building G Adventures as a leader in social enterprise and community tourism.

"Our teams on the ground pour their hearts into making sure our travellers have life-changing experiences on every trip, and the connections they make with travellers can last a lifetime. These new funds represent our commitment to community tourism by offering the opportunity to make a positive change at a time we can't do that through travelling."

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