22 November 2022
With climate change high on the global news agenda, local tourism pioneers and adventure travel specialists, G Adventures, have made a significant financial investment in restorative travel technology start-up, Reforest, to begin trading through tree planting.
Based in Brisbane, Australia, Reforest is a digital platform that connects travelers with communities actively restoring their ecosystems through reforestation. This allows travelers to give back by having their own trees planted in places where community tourism is heavily dependent on the preservation of the local environment. The platform will then provide travelers with tangible, visible, scientific data that measures the positive impact of the trees planted on their behalf.
Reforest is also designed to help travel companies looking to tackle environmental challenges through emissions 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 personal interactive experiences for corporate customers, who can then go on to plant trees themselves.
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures, says travelers are increasingly looking to ensure their trips have a meaningful impact and that tree planting is an effective way to both reverse climate change and support community tourism, a concept Poon Tip was pioneered more than 30 years ago.
“The preservation of local environments is essential to support community tourism as it helps improve air and water quality for local people and supports wildlife habitats. Travelers want to see natural beauty, so we need the world’s most beautiful places to be as long as possible and remain as untouched as possible The Reforest platform will help us achieve this goal and help fight climate change, as planting trees is one of the easiest ways to help reduce emissions.
“I’ve never been a fan of carbon offsets. The idea that you can have a negative impact in one place and do something positive in another and that somehow balances the scale is not science to me, and most of everything doesn’t change people’s behaviour. Reforest delivers a solution that really benefits the places tourism touches and presents the results in a way that travelers can see the positive change they enable. I’m also excited that we can expand 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 broadly within the global travel industry.
“At Reforest, we lead the transformation of hard climate data, for example kg of CO2, into visual, comprehensible measures such as ‘trees planted’. A customer can see the trees a travel company plants on their behalf and track the cumulative restorative effect of their travel as a result.We use drone-based footage and satellite imagery to bring cutting-edge tangibility to the restoration projects and offer powerful personalization.
“Having G Adventures as an investor gives us 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 G Adventures’ tree planting program over the the coming months.
“The opportunity to support the transition of this industry to becoming restorative is compelling to me both in terms of the positive impact we can facilitate and the targeted business models we can help build while doing 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 enables both businesses and consumers to have a tangible and authentic impact on their unavoidable carbon emissions and overcome the issues associated with traditional carbon offsets. Reforest helps travel companies assess their carbon footprint and then connects them with reforestation projects, run by organizations in the communities where they operate, to remove those emissions. The Reforest platform makes this action visible and engaging for these companies’ customers, enabling journeys that measurably leave 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 tours support local communities and provide travelers with meaningful experiences with people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife, while giving 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 peoples, community-based Planeterra projects that travelers can experience on their travels, and the industry-leading ‘ Ripple Score’ rating that measures how many traveler 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 of you. For more information please visit www.gadventures.com
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