g 1Photos: G Adventures

By Ilona Kauremszky

Just before the UN’s upcoming World Tourism Day this Saturday, G Adventures showcased its fourth annual Future of Tourism (FoT) event last night in Toronto as it live-streamed from 14 countries.

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The sold-out albeit ticketed event invited a panel of travel experts to discuss how travel and travellers can make the world a better place inkeeping with the UN theme of tourism and community development.

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Planeterra, which is G Adventures non-profit organization on sustainable community development, also fundraised $4,000 through sales of t-shirts and Planeterra-supported scarves from India.

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“We all believe tourism can help in the development of communities and improving livelihoods,” said Jamie Sweeting, president of Planeterra Foundation who explained how Planeterra has pioneered ways in working with communities to run their own community-run experiences.

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Lee-Ann Gibbs, the winner of last year’s first G Project, is an example. Her SASANE project in Nepal has helped 14 human trafficking survivors to become tour guides and hospitality staff. “It is an overwhelming amount of joy you have when you know the time and energy you invested is making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.”

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The evening concluded with G Adventures founder and CEO Bruce Poon Tip, who examined tourism sustainability and the importance of assisting one of the biggest under-represented voices in the world.

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“Today women are driving the tourism economy but they don’t have a voice at the top.” Poon Tip relayed how women make up 66 percent of the tourism workforce around the world, but they are only 10 percent of management decisions.

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