Kelly Galaski has 18 years of hospitality and tourism industry experience with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Hospitality and Tourism management and a Masters in Environmental Studies focused on sustainable tourism development and strategies for business. Since 2007 she has focused on developing community tourism plans, projects and initiatives in the Latin America and Caribbean region, and more recently in Europe and North America, creating opportunities by connecting rural and indigenous communities with the private sector. This includes working for eight years at G Adventures, the world’s largest adventure travel brand, as a program manager for the Planeterra foundation. In addition to her role in developing community tourism programs, Kelly manages sustainability initiatives for G Adventures, including the company’s global supply chain assessment system and policy work to guide the company’s practices.
Presentation: Tour Operators and Indigenous Communities: Traveller Demand & G Adventures’ Approach
G Adventures visits dozens of indigenous communities as part of its tours worldwide. Its foundation, Planeterra, has developed community tourism projects with 15+ communities to integrate into G Adventures’ supply chain. With over 100,000 travellers per year of various demographics and markets, we have insight into the demands of the traveller for interactions in and with indigenous communities. Additionally, in 2017 we have embarked on a research project to develop guidelines for tour operators, for which we are seeking input from indigenous tourism practitioners and activity suppliers, in order to ensure our company and others are operating with the best interests of indigenous communities in mind. Results of preliminary primary research with 24 indigenous tourism suppliers and 3700 travellers will be shared, as well as the speaker’s own experience with developing projects elsewhere from which lessons can be learned for Canada.