G Adventures and Merit Travel have launched a new partnership designed to help grow the adventure travel niche in Canada.
Effective Sept. 1, Toronto-based G Adventures will be the only small-group adventure travel supplier that Merit Travel – which includes Travel Cuts among its brands – will sell. The exclusive sales and marketing agreement will feature training and support for Merit agents by G Adventures, and, in the future, may include customized product.
“We see a huge growth opportunity in the adventure travel sector and as a pioneer in the space, we strongly feel that G Adventures can help us further penetrate that market,” says Jason Merrithew (pictured, left), vice-president, Merit Travel Group. “As a fellow independent Canadian company, we share similar business philosophies and there are many synergies between both brands.”
He adds, “The breadth and variety of G Adventures’ tours will allow us to more effectively cater to the evolving Canadian traveller and their growing demand for culturally immersive, adventurous experiences.”
G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip (pictured right) says the Merit deal is similar to exclusive arrangements G has with other retailers in other countries, but which has been harder to arrange in Canada.
“Canada lacks [an] adventure specialist and we think Merit can handle that,” he says, adding that it is critical to G, which usually doesn’t have point of contact presence with its customers, to work with agent partners who can help “interpret” the brand in the right way to consumers.
Poon Tip adds that the Merit deal is the first of many initiatives that will be announced in conjunction with the company’s 25th anniversary, which will be celebrated Sept. 29.