G Adventures announced the introduction of its Vaccinated Tours programme, with each trip having a fully vaccinated chief experience officer (CEO or tour guide) confirmed to lead the tour, on which all travellers must also be fully vaccinated. When surveyed, 56%* of travellers expressed that having a vaccinated CEO was actually more important to them than their fellow travellers being fully vaccinated, which 45% of travellers indicated they would prefer when travelling on a small group tour.
Due to the vast number of tours and destinations G Adventures is currently operating in, and the slower roll-out of vaccines in some destinations, the adventure operator is also introducing ‘Travel-Ready’ tours to ensure equitable access to tourism employment opportunities for CEOs in destinations which have not yet been able to administer vaccinations as widely as others, and the operator is also actively assisting CEOs to access vaccines in their home countries.
Of the tours departing in October, 304 departures will operate as Vaccinated Tours and 64 will be designated as Travel-Ready. On Vaccinated Tours, all travellers and CEOs must have received a full COVID-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days prior to day one of the tour. On Travel-Ready tours, all travellers and CEOs must have either received a full COVID-19 vaccination, or have a negative PCR test within 96 hours prior to day one of their tour’s departure. An icon will be featured next to each trip at www.gadventures.com to indicate which category of tour the departure falls under.
The Vaccinated Tours and Travel-Ready programmes represent an evolution of G Adventures’ existing Travel with Confidence policy which remains in place. This policy was introduced in June, 2020, and saw the implementation of enhanced health, safety and physical distancing measures across all tours.
Jeff Russill, chief operating officer at G Adventures, said that while the company is prioritizing the placement of vaccinated CEOs, they also want to continue with the company’s mission of changing lives through travel in as many countries as possible, as quickly as possible, through community tourism.
“By October we will have successfully, and safely, run close to 1,000 tours since September 2020 - more tours than any other operator - supporting employment and boosting the local economies of countries that are dependent on tourism, such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Morocco, Peru and Kenya. We are starting with Vaccinated Tours in October and will be adding future departures as we confirm CEOs and travellers are all fully vaccinated in order to lead and travel on those itineraries.
“As a global operator, we also want to ensure travel equity for those travellers who haven’t been able to be vaccinated as yet due to their age and / or home country, as we have travellers from more than 160 countries join our trips. We expect vaccination rates to increase in most destinations later this year, and as they do we will be operating even more Vaccinated Tours,” says Russill.