22 November, 2022
With climate change high on the global news agenda, community tourism pioneer and adventure travel specialist, G Adventures, has made a significant financial investment in restorative travel technology start-up, Reforest, to start taking action via tree-planting.
Reforest, which is based in Brisbane, Australia, is a digital platform connecting travellers with local communities that are actively restoring their ecosystems using reforestation. This enables travellers to give back by having their own trees planted in places where community tourism relies heavily on the preservation of the local environment. The platform will then provide travellers with tangible, visible, scientific data measuring the positive impact of the trees planted on their behalf.
Reforest has also been designed to help travel companies looking to tackle environmental challenges through emission removal to understand their carbon footprint, and then connect them with local projects to support their reforestation efforts. The platform is innovative in the way it converts the hard science of climate action into simple yet compelling personalized interactive experiences for companies’ customers, who can then continue to plant trees themselves.
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, says travellers are increasingly looking to ensure their travels have a meaningful impact and tree planting is an effective way to both reverse climate change and support community tourism, a concept Poon Tip pioneered more than 30 years ago.
“The preservation of local environments is critical to supporting community tourism as it helps improve air and water quality for local people, and supports wildlife habitats. Travellers want to see natural beauty, so we need the world’s most beautiful places to be around for as long as possible, and to stay as pristine as possible. The Reforest platform will help us achieve that goal and help combat climate change, as planting trees is one of the easiest ways to help decrease emissions.
“I’ve never been a fan of carbon-offsetting. The idea that you can have a negative impact in one place and do something positive somewhere else, and that somehow balances the scale, is not science to me, and most of all it doesn’t change people’s behaviour. Reforest provides a solution that truly has benefits for the places tourism touches, and presents the results in a way travellers can see the positive change they are enabling. I’m also excited for us to be able to broaden our reach and impact by providing this service to more travel companies,” says Poon Tip.
Daniel Walsh, co-founder of Reforest, says G Adventures’ stake gives the company the means to improve its technology, and expand its offering by marketing the platform more widely within the global travel industry.
“At Reforest we are leading the conversion of hard climate data, for example kg CO2, into visual, understandable measures such as ‘trees planted’. A customer can see the trees a travel company is planting on their behalf and track the cumulative restorative impact of their trip as a result. We apply drone-based footage and satellite imagery to bring ground breaking tangibility to the restoration projects, and offer powerful impact personalization.
“Having G Adventures as an investor provides us with the funding we need to bring our innovative new platform to market. Together we will also create a showcase example of restorative tourism at work as we build the G Adventures’ tree-planting programme together over the coming months.
“The opportunity to support the transition of this industry to become restorative is compelling for me both in terms of the positive impact we can facilitate and the purposeful business models we can help to build as we do so,” says Walsh.
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Founded in Brisbane, Australia by Daniel Walsh and Tim Stainlay, Reforest is a digital sustainable travel technology platform that empowers both companies and consumers to have a tangible and authentic impact on their unavoidable carbon emissions, overcoming the issues associated with traditional carbon offsetting. Reforest helps travel companies assess their carbon footprint then connects them with reforestation projects, run by organisations in the local communities in which they operate, to remove those emissions. The Reforest platform makes this action visible and engaging to the customers of those companies, enabling travel that measurably leaves their destination better than they found it.
About G Adventures
Founded in 1990 by social entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is a pioneer in community tourism and small group travel, offering more than 750 tours in 100 countries, on all seven continents. G Adventures’ award-winning trips support local communities, giving travellers meaningful experiences with people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife, while offering them the freedom and flexibility to explore on their own. G Adventures’ responsible approach to travel is demonstrated through its ‘G for Good’ social impact commitments, which include travel guidelines for children, wildlife and Indigenous people, community-based Planeterra projects travellers can experience on their trips, and the industry-leading ‘Ripple Score’ assessment which measures how many traveller dollars stay in the local economy. G Adventures offers life-changing tours for people of all ages, interests and budgets, because our world deserves more you. For more information please visit www.gadventures.com
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