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Across the travel industry and beyond, most people know Bruce Poon Tip as the founder of G Adventures, the world’s largest small group adventure travel company. He also established Planeterra Foundation, G Adventures’ nonprofit partner, which channels travelers’ dollars into underserved communities around the world. Through these accomplishments, he has addressed the United Nations and World Bank; delivered keynote speeches at TEDx events; and much more.
But what most people don’t know is that Poon Tip’s entrepreneurial drive began far ahead of G Adventures’ launch in 1990. Growing up as part of a Chinese-Venezuelan immigrant family in Calgary, Canada, a young Poon Tip started three businesses before even turning 13 — including contracting 11-year-olds to deliver his newspapers on multiple routes. Not to mention, he bred rabbits in his parents’ backyard.
At age 16, after getting fired from Denny’s two weeks into the job, and then getting fired while training to work at McDonald’s, Poon Tip realized that he was better off being his own boss.
In this episode of Humans of Travel, Poon Tip shares with listeners the roots of his early ambition, as well as G Adventures’ genesis story. He also explains how being a minority has influenced his career — and reveals a clever strategy that was necessary to move his business forward.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODEBruce Poon Tip’s Instagram: www.instagram.com/brucepoontip Bruce Poon Tip’s Twitter: www.twitter.com/brucepoontip “Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business” by Bruce Poon Tip: www.amazon.com“Do Big Small Things” by Bruce Poon Tip: www.amazon.com
Valerie Chen is the Deputy Digital Editor of TravelAge West, a print and online magazine for travel advisors based in the Western U.S. TravelAge West also produces national trade publications Explorer and Family Getaways, as well as events including Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, Global Travel Marketplace West, the WAVE Awards gala and the Napa Valley Leadership Forum.
TravelAge West’s new podcast, Humans of Travel, features conversations with exceptional people who have compelling stories to tell. Listeners will hear from the travel industry’s notable authorities, high-profile executives, travel advisors and rising stars as they share the experiences — the highs and the lows — that make them human.