G Adventures and its non-profit partner, Planeterra have hosted the first annual World Community Tourism Summit, GX, in Cusco Peru.
The event celebrated “the power of community tourism and an opportunity for members of the travel industry to see firsthand how they play a part in making the world a better, more equitable place.”
GX was also a celebration of Planeterra’s 20th anniversary. For the past two decades, Planeterra has been committed to “uplifting communities through tourism”, with more than 750,000 lives being changed through the course of its work.
The event was also a fundraiser and in total more than £179,000 was raised in support of Planeterra’s community tourism projects in destinations around the world.
During GX, Planeterra’s President, Jamie Sweeting, announced the launch of Project 300, to uplift 300 communities through travel by the year 2030.
Project 300 follows Planeterra’s previous, successful campaigns; the ‘50 in 5’ initiative was introduced in 2015, through which 50 new social enterprises were built into G Adventures tours in just five years.
This was swiftly followed by ‘Project 100’ in 2019 with a mandate to increase the total number of community tourism enterprises integrated into G Adventures experiences to 100.
Sweeting says Project 300 is the next chapter in G Adventures and Planeterra’s joint journey to create a lasting impact through community tourism.
GX brought together more than 350 tourism industry members from around the globe – agents, suppliers, media and travellers.
Attendees also visited Planeterra-supported community tourism enterprises near Cusco, including the Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Co-Op, Parque de la Papa, Tinkuy Community Tourism, and Parwa Community Restaurant.
A full day of speaker and discussion sessions tackled hot topics such as supporting women’s empowerment via tourism, tourism and the climate and biodiversity crisis, delivering actionable steps the industry and travellers can take to contribute to the success of community tourism.
Keynote speaker, Jessica Nabongo – travel expert and the first black woman to have travelled to every country in the world – kicked off GX saying, “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my journey is that most people are good. We are more similar than we are different.”
G Adventures’ founder Bruce Poon Tip captured the essence of community tourism, saying the G Adventures culture is all about community.
GX wrapped up with the launch of Trees for Days, an initiative that brings the protection of the environment and empowerment of local communities.
For each day a traveller is on a G Adventures trip, one tree will be grown in their name, helping to both mitigate carbon emissions and increase support in 17 local communities around the world.
For more information on GX, please visit https://gx.gadventures.com/.