by David Paddon, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 29, 2015 3:03 pm MDT Last Updated Sep 29, 2015 at 7:28 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email A Berber camel guide in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, Africa is shown in a handout photo. After 25 years of organizing trips for small groups who want to visit remote and exotic locations around the globe, G Adventure Tours is celebrating a new business partnership with National Geographic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-G Adventures TORONTO – After 25 years of organizing trips for small groups who want to visit remote and exotic locations around the globe, G Adventure Tours is celebrating a new business partnership with National Geographic.The Toronto-based tour company is one of only a few travel partners selected by the 127-year-old National Geographic Society, which controls a multimedia empire that includes magazines, television and digital publications.Bruce Poon Tip, who founded G Adventure Tours nearly a decade before National Geographic got into the travel business, says the two organizations have been working toward their partnership for about a year.He says it was a “no brainer” to join forces with a brand that reaches about 700 million people a month, but each side had a reputation to protect as well as promote.“We built a brand, basically, on the idea of ‘organized backpacking,’ if you will,” Poon Tip said in a phone interview before the official launch of the new collaboration.“It slowly turned into more of a social enterprise type of business model where we create community projects around the world and integrate cultural immersion with travel.”G Adventures limits its travel groups to no more than 16 people and often they are from several different countries — one of the appealing features of a G Adventures trip.Although the business began in 1990 — in an era when the fax machine was the main way to communicate with travel agents, rather than email or online — it began to really take off a few years later.“It was so innovative and different that we were able to export it and start selling it all over the world,” Poon Tip recalls. “We convinced people in Scandinavia or Switzerland or Australia to book an African safari with a Canadian company.“Suddenly we became very popular because we’d have people from all over the world in your group.”Since then, G Adventures has become a large player in its specialized market niche. It currently handles 20,000 departures per year, to 100 countries, and offers 700 itineraries. Surprisingly, Canada has only its fifth-largest customer base.National Geographic’s president and chief executive, Gary Knell, says the common goal is to make it financially possible for more people to visit distant and remote places without damaging sensitive natural sites or exploiting local populations.“We felt these guys were exactly in line with the ethics and the social and environmental sustainability ethos that we share together,” Knell says.“The price points will be significantly lower than a lot of our other travel opportunities, which we hope will expand the base for a lot more people to have an authentic National Geographic experience. I’m personally committed to trying to do that.”Details of a new line of trips, to be called National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures, will be published Dec. 15 for departures beginning Jan. 5. In general, trips are expected to cost between $3,000 and $6,000 per person.Follow @DavidPaddon on Twitter. G Adventure Tours: Business built on small groups joins with National Geographic