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Ripple Score

It’s time we start keeping score

For years we’ve talked about how we do travel differently, especially when it comes to working with local businesses and services to build our tours. You deserve to see exactly what we mean when we say we’re changing lives through travel. Now you can.

To see the score look for this icon on most of our tours online and in our brochures. The higher the Ripple Score, the more money that is staying in the local community. Lower scores obviously need more attention. We’re committed to improving Ripple Scores wherever possible, by finding additional local services to use on our tours.*

Creating ripples in the travel industry

In 2016, we completed the G Local Survey** to study the real-world impact of travelling on the communities we visit. The result? There was an obvious, positive ripple effect created by our small-group adventure tours. It was a good start. But we knew we could do better.

We feel it’s our responsibility to be as transparent as possible about how often we choose local businesses or services to bring each adventure to life. So we’re assessing our tours with what’s called a Ripple Score — a tour evaluation that lets you see the money spent locally by G Adventures on all the services it takes to run your tour — like accommodations, restaurants and transportation.***

Responsible Travel: Take a closer look

Here’s a look into how the Ripple Scores are created.


What is local? We had to ensure our definition was fair and easy to understand. To qualify as a local business or service, 50% or more must be owned by a legal resident or national citizen of the country where it operates.


Next, we looked at every business and service we work with to determine which qualified as being locally owned and operated. Every one of our partners were required to fill out surveys that gave us further insights into their operations and ultimately our own.


Using the information we got from the survey, we looked at what we spend in each destination to operate that tour and calculated what percentage of that local cost was going to a local business or service. The more local operation costs that stay locally, the better the ripple effect in those communities and the greater the Ripple Score.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have a few questions about the Ripple Score? Check out some of our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Q: How often will the Ripple Score be revised?

A: We will update and revise scores annually.

Q: What is the Ripple Score?

A: The Ripple Score is a tool we’ve created to show you the percentage of money we spend locally on trip services like accommodations, restaurants, and transportation. The scoring system was created with our non-profit partner Planeterra and Sustainable Travel International.

Q: Does the Ripple score represent that quality of the trip itself?

A: Not at all. The Ripple Score is designed to provide transparency around the local economic impact of a tour, but it does not reflect the quality of the on-trip experience.

Q: How many G Adventures tours have Ripple Scores?

A: To date, 640 out of 800 tours have calculated scores.* Our aim is to update and revise scores annually.

*As of September, 2018.

Q. Why weren’t all trips given a Ripple Score?

A: We have excluded Antarctic and Arctic trips onboard our G Expedition ship as it operates in remote destinations with few or no local inhabitants. In addition, building new trip itineraries and contracting suppliers is an ongoing process.

Q: If a tour has a Ripple Score of 100 what does that mean?

A: A score of 100 means that all of the services we have used to create that specific tour are locally owned.

Q: What is the average Ripple Score across all trips?

A: Our average score across our tours is currently 93, meaning 93% of the money G Adventures spends in destination to operate our tours goes to local businesses and services.

Q: Can you help other companies in the travel industry to implement a similar scoring system?

A: Absolutely. We want to create a movement with the Ripple Score and can help provide more information and help connect other companies to Sustainable Travel International.