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“A different kind of luxury”: G Adventures unveils second phase of Geluxe in Australia, its fastest growing market

With Founder Bruce Poon Tip present (a rarity at a product launch, says the man himself), G Adventures has revealed the second phase of Geluxe in Sydney, with the new collection of tours to kick off in November this year.

With Founder Bruce Poon Tip present (a rarity at a product launch, says the man himself), G Adventures has revealed the second phase of Geluxe in Sydney, with the new collection of tours to kick off in November this year.

Offering 17 trips across 10 countries such as Ireland, Turkey, Chile, Tanzania and India, the new phase adds to the 28 trips across 16 countries G Adventures unveiled at a soft launch of Geluxe at the GX Summit in Peru in September 2023. The first phase trips commence in May 2024.

Speaking at an intimate event in Sydney on Thursday night, Poon Tip said “Geluxe has been the fastest product we’ve ever launched”. Not in time to put the collection of active trips together, which took five years, said Poon Tip, but in terms of how quickly it grew right off the bat.

“If you know us, we’ve launched many products over the years, whether it’s Roamies [by Hostelworld] a couple of years ago, National Geographic in 2015, Local Living. But nothing’s been more successful than Geluxe from the beginning,” he added.   

Luxury redefined?

Poon Tip speaks at the Geluxe event in Sydney.
Poon Tip speaks at the Geluxe event in Sydney.

And as you’d expect from G Adventures, it approaches luxury travel differently from how most operators do.

“It’s a different kind of luxury we’re talking about… our business model is around community tourism and community development – and you don’t have to sacrifice that community experience for comfort. That’s really the message around Geluxe,” the G Adventures Founder said. 

“We can offer comfort, but we won’t define the experience by comfort.”

“Being activated and having elevated food that’s connected to the destination are the concepts around Geluxe.”   

A Gap in the market

According to Poon Tip, the idea for Geluxe came about after data showed that G Adventure’s customers are “staying healthier, more active, longer”.

With 60 per cent of its customers over 50, the average age of a Geluxe client is 53, with three in four travellers (73 per cent) female. Eighty per cent of its solo travellers are also female. 

“They wanted more comfort, but they didn’t want to give up that community tourism kind of experience,” Poon Tip said. 

“And it’s amazing… there was basically a hole in the market because it’s found a market that wasn’t there before. And we’re pretty excited about it.” 

While the collection now comprises 45 trips in 26 countries, the company already has plans for phase three of the initiative, with New Zealand among the destinations that are being considered for inclusion.

So what does a Geluxe adventure look like? Poon Tip gave an example of one of its OMG Stays, a concept for Geluxe trips – in Nepal, “where there’s a rafting trip that goes into a permanent tented camp, which can only be accessed by river, and staying in that camp”.

G Adventures Australia, NZ and Asia Managing Director Sean Martin elaborated on some of the “heavy active components” that make up Geluxe trips.

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Talking Geluxe in Sydney

“Most South Africa trips, instead of jumping in a safari vehicle for the whole time, you actually learn how to track wildlife on foot,” he said. Or you can hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town or ride bikes in the winery region of Franschhoek. 

But Geluxe’s trips are informed by G Adventures’ overall approach to touring, which puts immersion in community at its core. 

“The idea of hotels right now to create a unified experience across the world… strips away the relevance of destination in accommodation. And if we do more and more of that, travel becomes very bland,” Poon Tip said.

“And so the idea is… communities are a big part of your decision making and you bring the relevance of destination in the accommodation and the food. That’s what makes community tourism great. And we can do that with a premium product.”

Aussie value

Vietnam Hoi An Night Market Food Travellers (Image G Adventures)
A Hoi An night market (Image G Adventures)

So why launch the second phase Down Under? According to Poon Tip, Australia represents Geluxe’s second biggest market (after the United States) and is now its fastest-growing market – as it is with G Adventures’ products as a whole. Among Aussie ‘Geluxers’, South Africa, Japan, Italy and Greece are the most popular destinations.

And if Geluxe does as well as G Adventures has done of late, expect it to do well.

Speaking to Karryon at the Sydney event, Martin said the last six months had been huge for the company, highlighted by its biggest-ever month for sales in January 2024, which surpassed its previous biggest month in January 2023.

Geluxe was officially launched in November 2023.

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