They come from different parts of the country, have their own travel styles and they work for various agencies.

 

 

These five women may not have much in common, but they all share a contagious and unwavering enthusiasm for immersive, sustainable tourism and G Adventures.

That’s why Melissa Llewelyn, Laura Silverton, Erin Davey, Helena Turner and Mandy Bradtke were selected as finalists in G Adventures’ search for its first Responsible Travel Ambassador, and it’s what got them a ticket to the G Adventures office in Melbourne.

After a quick tour of the popular G Adventures ball pit and a peek at the Dr Seuss meeting space, the ladies delivered their powerful and in some cases, tear-jerking, cases as to why they deserve the inaugural title.

dsc04542

Erin shared heartbreaking facts on endangered languages, while Mandy explained how sustainable thinking changed her way of travel and selling.

Melissa’s 18 months of travelling and volunteering in Bali wowed the judges and the room nodded in unison when Laura emphasised the need for change both locally and internationally.

But it was Helena from STA Travel Chirmside who won over the judges with an ingrained drive and authentic passion for cultures, helping and making a difference.

dsc04569

During her 15-minute presentation, the Queensland-based Agent proved she not only had a clear understanding of G Adventures’ core values, but is the walking epitome of them with her loving spirit, creative soul and ability to embrace the bizarre, which she demonstrated clearly when she asked judges to take part in a unique one-minute eye-staring activity designed to break barriers.

She spoke of social exchange bringing about solutions, the need for more holidaymakers to travel with a purpose and showcased her knowledge and passion for Planeterra – G Adventures’ non-for-profit organisation built to help local communities touched by the travel industry.

She even had judges in awe when she revealed one of her current side projects, a fund raising yoga class where all donations are given to Planeterra.

g-adventures-5

G Adventures’ Managing Director, Adrian Piotto, said the decision was tough because all five ladies delivered impressive presentations, but he was excited to see Helena step into the role and inspire other Agents to sell and travel responsibly.

“We loved Helena’s ice breaker exercise at the beginning of the presentation and relating it back to the overall cause. We felt that Helena has a great sense of the G Adventures core values.”

Adrian Piotto, G Adventures Managing Director

 

So what happens from here?

Helena, who said she’s excited and honoured to be named G Adventures’ Responsible Travel Ambassador, will work with the tour operator to help them on their mission to filter the company’s core values through the Agents who sell G Adventures to the clients who then get to take life changing trips.

G Adventures believes that travel should be a force for good. Together, they’ll find new ways of spreading the word to other Agents about G Adventures’ products and projects featured on many of their tours. Social enterprise is part of G Adventures’ DNA and the 50 new projects through their ’50 in 5 campaign’ will mean that 90 percent of their itineraries will have some kind of social enterprise element. These trips will benefit more destinations and more local communities. 

“To have a voice for responsible travel in the industry is something we have all been missing and we can’t wait to see what Helena can do for for responsible travel!” G Adventures said.

Helena will also head out on a 10-day ‘Nepal Adventure‘ where she’ll not only travel around the country, but also experience the local Planeterra ‘Sisterhood of Survivors‘ project, which is designed to empower human trafficking survivors education.

11181933_10150573208064999_5768938587459603450_o

For the other four finalists, G Adventures says that won’t be the last we see of them and looks forward to working with them closely. 

 

 

Information about G Adventures and Planeterra:

What’s Planeterra?
Planeterra is a non-profit organization founded by G Adventures that works to make the world a better place to explore and inhabit by helping local communities touched by the travel industry to develop and grow. Visit planeterra.org and help make the world a little more perfect.

Get involved
With over 700 tours spread across eight unique travel styles and all seven continents, no matter what kind of traveller your customers are,  G Adventures has a Responsible Travel experience for them. Ready to start working with G Adventures? Visit https://www.gadventures.com.au/agents/ to find out more and sign up for sherpa, their dedicated agent portal, and become a part of the G Adventures travel agent family.

Join us in congratulating Helena on her role as G Adventures’ first Responsible Travel Ambassador.