G Adventures has expanded its reach into the youth travel sector with the acquisition of Surrey-based small group adventure operator TruTravels, which will expand its sales team and agency distribution network with investment from G.
TruTravels was founded in 2012 by Joe Fallon and Mark Pope, who will continue to run the company as partners and minority shareholders.
Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures founder, said despite the acquisition, the operator would remain “true” to to its own “unique brand identity, style of trip delivery, and way of communicating with their customers”, who are predominantly in the 18-25 demographic.
“Earlier this year, I realised we were missing a beat with a new, grassroots style of small group travel that was emerging for young people,” said Poon Tip.
“When I started digging deeper into what TruTravels does, I discovered while their ethos is closely aligned to ours, the way they communicate, and how they travel, is so different to G Adventures we couldn’t compete.
“For this reason, we don’t want to change what TruTravels does. Joe and Mark are doing an incredible job in this space with this new style of fun-focussed travel which is rooted in meeting new people and driven by social media influences.
“Our aim is to give them a boost so they can do more of what they already do so well, and we welcome them to the G Adventures family of brands as a complementary business.”
Fallon and Pope said the new partnership would help TruTravels become a global operator thanks to access to G’s supply chain and distribution networks.
“While there are clear differences in the style of trips TruTravels runs and the travellers we attract, the similarities we have with G Adventures are how we knew they were the right partners for us,” said Fallon. “Both brands’ sales are dominated by travel agency sales and both attract travellers from a number of different countries,”
Pope added there were clear similarities between the culture and values of the two companies such as protecting people and the planet.
“While it’s obviously exciting to be partnering with the most established and experienced operator in our space, the most important thing for us in saying ‘yes’ was that we were culturally aligned,” he said. “Add to that our shared passion for delivering the best customer experience imaginable, and contributing to making the world a better place, and we believe it’s a perfect match.”
TruTravels has 25 staff based in Surrey and 40 tour guides in Asia. It plans to expand its sales team and agency distribution network as it grows.
G Adventures, meanwhile, will help Tru grow its access to its new parent’s supply chain and offer shared resources across technology, recruitment and finance.