Last week, G Adventures announced the introduction of two new programs to help people travel with confidence as the global pandemic rages on: Vaccinated Tours and Travel-Ready.
The program is an extension of G Adventures' Travel with Confidence Policy and complements enhanced health, safety and physical distancing measures which have been in place since June 2020. The trip types are denoted by a special icon on the Travel with Confidence Plus Collection webpage and can be applied as a filter during itinerary searches.
What exactly is a Vaccinated Tour?
G Adventures trips are led by CEOs or “chief experience officers.” (In plain speak, a tour guide.) On a Vaccinated Tour, the CEO and participating travellers must be fully vaccinated, having received a second dose at least 14 days before the first day of the tour. Of G Adventures’ 360-plus October departures across 116 different tour options, 304 will operate as a Vaccinated Tour.
What is a Travel-Ready tour?
On Travel-Ready tours, all travellers and CEOs must have either received a full, two-dose COVID-19 vaccination or provide a negative PCR test within 96 hours of trip departure.
What happens if a test comes back positive? G Adventures advises travellers first enquire with their private insurer to see if they qualify for a full or partial refund. In the event they're not covered, the operator will gladly rebook a new departure date but reminds travellers that airfare (not booked through G) and other incidentals are their responsibility.
The idea behind Travel-Ready
Although Canadians are among the highest proportion of vaccinated populations in the world, vaccine access is a challenge in many of the destinations G Adventures travels to. The Travel-Ready program represents an effort to ensure equitable access to tourism employment opportunities for CEOs and customers who live in places where a vaccine is not readily available.
“As a global operator, we 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,” said Jeff Russill, chief officer at G Adventures. “We have travellers from more than 160 countries join our trips.”
In the meantime, the operator is actively assisting CEOs with logistical and financial support to reach vaccination sites. One such instance occurred last weekend in Peru where Inca Trail porters received their first dose. According to G Adventures, its team of “Inca Warriors” has now safely led 14 trips along the recently reopened four-day hiking route to the ancient Incan citadel.
Sixty-four of the October departures will be designated as Travel-Ready though Russill notes: "We expect vaccination rates to increase in most destinations later this year. And as they do, we will be operating even more Vaccinated Tours.”