Looptail combines both Bruce Poon Tip's first-person
account of his entrepreneurial instincts to start and develop G
Adventures, an international travel adventure company,
and along the way, he reveals his unusual management secrets that not
only keep his employees engaged but also keep his customers happy.
“Our purpose in life is achieving
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
am not Buddhist (I get asked this all the time), but in truth, this teaching of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has helped me build G Adventures - the world’s most
successful adventure travel company and evolve it into a social enterprise that
elevates its customers to a higher purpose -- all through travel.
this point was definitely not easy. In Looptail, I tell the story of how it
all started and why at G Adventures,
we’re now in the business of changing people’s lives.
Looptail started in 1997, seven years after I founded G Adventures in my
apartment by maxing out two credit cards. I had to, because no bank would give
me a loan to provide start up funding for my business.
was not good in 1997. In fact, my fledging company was facing bankruptcy. I was
in Nepal, en route to Tibet, leading a group of travelers (which was not
uncommon for me at that time). I truly thought that at the end of this trip,
when I returned back to Toronto, that we were going to have to close down my
business for good.
as my group got set to depart our hotel for the next leg of our journey, I
swapped my copy of Wired, the infamous John Belushi biography
for Great Ocean – the authorized biography of Ten‐zin Gyatso,
the great fourteenth Dalai Lama. Little did I know that reading that
unique book would not only lay the foundation of what would change me as a
person (and would result in me getting thrown in a Burmese prison a few days
later), but it motivated me to think in new and innovative ways about how to
create a different kind of company.
only did some fairly karmic events happen to turn things around quickly, but
soon after my trip my business began to grow rapidly. But that wasn’t enough
for me. I wanted G Adventures to be so much more than JUST a travel company.
days, we’re at a point at G Adventures where our entire global business is
shaped around five core values and our business model is rooted in happiness,
community and karma.
I type this, I realize that this may sound like we’re a bunch of hippies here
at G Adventures. To be honest, we do have our share of Birkenstock-wearing
employees, but our business numbers don’t lie: In addition to growing profits
year after year, even during economic downturns and recessions, we also
maintain an incredibly happy workforce, which has won numerous awards. Best of
all, we maintain a 99% customer satisfaction rating.
recently received some amazing news - His Holiness The Dalai Lama has written
the foreword for Looptail and in it, thanks me for “…making an
active contribution to creating more peaceful and happier world.” To say
that I am honored and thrilled is an understatement. For me this is validation
that we have grown into a true social enterprise that inspires and elevates its
customers and employees to a higher purpose and have transcended our industry.
This, of course, makes me very, very happy.
Looptail is a business book. The
thought of this may scare (or bore) some of you, but don’t worry. Throughout
the book, there are many stories of travel, adventure, interesting characters,
and meaningful connections that I have encountered along my journey.
hope that you will read Looptail and
will be inspired to find happiness in your life and work.
Bruce Poon Tip