Full of adventures

Press release   •   Apr 01, 2019 11:36 BST

The founder of a global adventure travel company that champions sustainability and responsible tourism will address a major international conference in Dumfries & Galloway this summer.

Bruce Poon Tip founded G Adventures in 1990 on two credit cards, and the company has grown to employ 2,200 people in more than 100 countries around the world. The leading small-group operator prides itself on offering travellers culturally immersive experiences that give back to the communities they visit, ensuring their local economic impact.

Bruce has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at the International Adventure Conference in June. Laggan Outdoor Activity Centre and the University of the West of Scotland were successful in their joint bid to bring the 7th International Adventure Conference to the region for the first time.

The conference, which is led by the Adventure Tourism Research Association, is expected to attract around 300 delegates who work in the adventure tourism and adventure recreation industries to Dumfries & Galloway from 17-21 June to help shine the spotlight on the region and its growing reputation for adventure sports activities.

The national tourism organisation has welcomed the announcement that Bruce Poon Tip will appear at the conference, which is a ‘major coup’ for Scotland and the region.

VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director Paula Ward said: “It is fantastic news for the conference organisers to secure a global leader such as Bruce Poon Tip. Bruce is a well-respected name within the global adventure tourism industry and his appearance will give key players within Scotland, the UK and Europe the chance to hear the true authentic story behind G Adventures. The South of Scotland is a region renowned for its natural beauty with a broad range of activities and outdoor pursuits on offer. We want to work together to ensure that the magic of the landscape is there for future generations to experience.

“This international event will be an opportunity to show off the South of Scotland as a world class destination for adventure tourism and to build on our reputation as a place to visit, to live and to develop new ideas. With a UNESCO Biosphere designation and the home of the Europe’s First Dark Sky Park, as well as excellent green credentials, we have a real opportunity to put the South of Scotland firmly on the map as a place that embraces sustainability and is a destination worth talking about.

“We believe that the success of Scotland’s tourism industry rests on protecting and enhancing the Scottish environment, society and culture, which are vital to the brand, the tourism industry and sustaining Scotland’s economic growth.”

Bruce Poon Tip said: “I’m excited to address this group of industry thought leaders, and to share how G Adventures runs life-changing trips that help distribute wealth and alleviate poverty around the world. The timing of my keynote is perfect, as G Adventures launches a new ‘Highlights of Scotland’ trip this August.”

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “It’s great news that this year’s International Adventure Conference will be hosted in Scotland. This event will cement our reputation as one of the must-visit destinations for adventure sports.

“Adventure tourism is one of our fastest growing sectors and bringing the industry together to hear from experts like Bruce Poon Tip is a tremendous opportunity to put the spotlight on our great outdoors and explore how we can continue to appeal to tourists looking for different experiences.

“The Scottish Government recognises the importance of the adventure tourism sector which is why we contributed £40,000 towards the development of Wild Scotland’s strategy, are investing in mountain biking sites in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway and are supporting a regional marketing campaign in the South of Scotland.”

Adventure tourism has been identified as an area for growth within Scotland. Tourism Scotland 2020, the national tourism strategy, highlights ‘activities and adventure’ as a sector with real potential and already worth an estimated £759 million to the economy.

Other speakers at this year’s conference include Dr Susan Houge Mackenzie from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and Neil Rogers, a Stockholm-based tourism consultant.

For more information on the conference, visit


Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by five overarching strategies: Marketing, Events, Quality and Sustainability, Inclusive Tourism, International Engagement.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
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