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In Conversation with Bruce Poon Tip

Posted on December 18, 2012 in Sector News

By Elisa Birnbaum

In our continuing video series profiling social entrepreneurs, we speak with Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures. Established in 1990, the company has passionately carved a reputation as a pioneering world leader in adventure travel with an unyielding dedication to sustainable tourism and community development.

To further enhance its seminal commitment to sustainable tourism, in 2003, Poon Tip created the Planterra Foundation. With the aim of supporting communities in the areas of education, healthcare, environment and social development, the initiative today boasts close to 40 projects worldwide, many of which travelers have the opportunity to visit.

Poon Tip’s commitment to sustainable tourism has not gone unrecognized. Among other accolades, G Adventures was listed as one of the Top 100 Employers and 50 Best Managed Companies, while its founder received the 2009 World Savers Award by Condé Nast Traveler magazine and the 2009 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Leadership Award for voluntourism. He was also inducted into the Social Venture Network (SVN) Hall of Fame and most recently bestowed the Excellence in Corporate Responsibility (ECR) Award.

SEE Change sat down with Poon Tip prior to his headlining the Future of Tourism, an event exploring tourism as a force for change. In this candid interview, he discusses the varied opportunities for travel companies to create real impact on the ground, and shares his palpable frustration at dealing with the challenges of running a social enterprise. The indomitable founder then explains why "tourism as usual" is not enough, why business models need to adapt to changing societal concerns, and how traveling with a conscience can not only fulfill one's purpose, it can be a highly profitable endeavour.

Watch the video podcast here!

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