London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) September 25, 2009 -- CEO and Founder Bruce Poon Tip of Gap Adventures, the world's leading small group adventure tour operator, was honored with the World Savers Award for '2009 Winner: Tour Operator' during the third annual CondÃ© Nast Traveler World Savers Congress in New York City today.
Since launching Gap Adventures in 1990, Bruce has been dedicated to corporate social responsibility and in 2003, started the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the development and support of small communities around the globe. Planeterra's range of projects, which span the arenas of health, education, employment skills training, cultural heritage preservation, and environmental conservation, help travelers find ways to give back to the people and places they visit. All projects have the central goal of helping local people through community development, achieve a sustainable way of life. Highlights of projects include:
Peru Women's Weaving Co-Op: Since 2005, Planeterra has been working with the Ccaccaccollo community to develop a women's weaving cooperative. Most Gap Adventures groups are able to visit this community as part of the Sacred Valley Tour where they meet the women and learn about all the stages of the weaving process; from hand-spinning the wool, dying the wool using natural dyes, and participating in a weaving demonstration.
Brazil Community Reforestation Program: Planeterra is working with local communities in Southern Brazil to reforest their lands. This program, which will result in 450,000 trees planted by the end of the year, will provide communities and local farmer tools, so they can increase food production.
"We are thrilled to be honored with this prestigious award today and are pleased that the judges on the panel recognised Gap Adventures commitment to service and excellence," said CEO and Founder of Gap Adventures, Bruce Poon Tip. He adds, "This honour is a testament to the dedication, creativity, and integrity of each employee here at Gap Adventures."
As a result of Gap Adventure's extensive commitment to sustainability, the Canadian tour operator was chosen by a independent panel of twenty-one judges, which includes academics, CEOs, philanthropists and non-governmental organisations for the World Savers Award. The judges assessed the degree to which companies exhibited social responsibility in five key areas: education, poverty alleviation, wildlife conservation, cultural and environmental preservation, and health.