Brian Young, managing director, G Adventures.

Working for an international adventure travel company, I often get asked about the trips I take, be it for business or pleasure. Working in this industry we are incredibly fortunate to be able to visit some amazing destinations but, it was a recent trip to Thailand that left me thinking about the topic of connection.

The trip marked G Adventures’ annual “Connection Camp”, a week long trip that brings together our employees from across a number of departments and offices around the world, with one sole aim – the generate meaningful connections.

With 28 offices worldwide and a workforce of over 2,200 employees, creating meaningful internal connections is no small feat, which is where Connection Camp came into play. 12 teams, made up of 120 employees were brought together to undertake challenges, enjoy activities and drive unity around our company-wide purpose of changing people’s lives.

The motivation that I witnessed as these 120 individuals spent time together, living our core values together and understanding they were, collectively part of a larger purpose, was truly impressive.

Last year we ran the first “State of purpose survey” with travel agents from around the world, looking at the motivation around purpose when selling travel. With 71% of travel agents surveyed identifying as being purpose-driven, what power could connection play in this mix I wonder?

Having seen the impact that Connection Camps have on our employees, to help motivate them and build a sense of community centred around a higher purpose, would a similar set up work for our external partners selling our trips?

This idea led us to launch the Change Makers incentive – our largest global incentive, centred around lives changed rather than solely sales. Agents all over the world have earned spaces on the summit, which will take place next month, some based on the number of lives changed throughout the incentive, while others earned their place based on social submissions highlighting how they give back to their community.

With 100 agents from around the world coming together, united by a common belief in the power of the industry they work in, I believe the Change Makers Summit will not only drive these meaningful connections, but also deepen agents’ sense of belonging to a community of travel professionals whose purpose transcends beyond simply selling holidays.