Responding to what it calls a high demand for escorted tours that are restricted to vaccinated travelers and guides, the influential small-group tour company G Adventures, which runs tours worldwide, has announced two new types of offerings: Vaccinated Tours and Travel-Ready departures.
Almost out of the gate, around 60% of the company's trips will be classified as one or the other.
As the initial announcement explains, "on Vaccinated Tours, all travelers and [guides] must have received a full Covid-19 vaccination with the final dose administered at least 14 days prior to day one of the tour."
The requisites for Travel-Ready tours are slightly more relaxed to accommodate customers who can't access the vaccine yet. On those, "all travelers and [guides] 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," according to the announcement.
Just to make sure everyone is as safe as possible, the operator is also working to bring vaccines to guides who live in countries where doses remain hard to obtain (as pictured above on the Inca Trail in Peru, where the company's tours resumed this month).
"The tourism halt has been devastating for these communities, and we’ve worked with our non-profit partner, Planeterra, to help raise funds to support their families through the pandemic, so seeing our team members welcome their first guests in 18 months is really fantastic,” said Sarah Miginac, who manages the company's Latin America tours.
G Adventures is considered one of the most innovative major tour companies in the travel business. It ranks ethics so highly that even before the pandemic, the operator began rating each excursion based on how much of its cost is paid back to the communities being explored. (Click here to read Pauline Frommer's 2018 interview with G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip.)
The company says that of the 304 departures it has scheduled in October alone, 116 will be designated as Vaccinated Tours and another 64 trips will be classified as Travel-Ready.
“As a global operator, we also want to ensure travel equity for those travelers 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," said Jeff Russill, the company's chief operating officer, in the press release announcing the new categories. “We expect vaccination rates to increase in most destinations later this year, and, as they do, we will be operating even more Vaccinated Tours.”