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The Gap team started their late afternoon session strong with a catchy 4 minute video called Social Media Revolution, which posed the question…”Is Social Media a fad?  Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?”

Gappers on Social Media

The “Gapper” guest speakers, Kerri Minns-Social Media Specialist, Star Statulevicius-Sales Supervisor, and Ben Stasiuk-African Operations Manager, gave an excellent presentation on how Gap Adventures is using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to create a virtual lifestyle around adventure travel.

Gap Adventures uses Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and the Travel Oasis blog to engage and interact with travellers each day, providing a conversation and connection to continue inspiration for travel.

The up-to-the-minute events in social media land were made ever so clear earlier in the week when CEO Bruce Poon Tip’s tweet from the Burlington, VT, airport runway about United Airlines’ poor service and over bookings generated an article in The Consumerist.com literally overnight.

iPod, I'm your father.

Follow Gap Adventures “Captain” Bruce Poon Tip on Twitter: @brucepoontip

Follow Social Media Specialist, Kerri Minns on Twitter: @awanderluster

It’s been great having the Gap Adventures team here as the private sector case study.

The course format with lots of dialog and personal interaction has been absolutely wonderful, and Dr. Spenceley’s video conference this morning was great.   A perfect example of sustainable technology.

– Joe, student & globe trotter extraordinnaire

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After the mid-day break we heard from Richard Edwards, who shared his experiences in his role as Marketing Director at Gap Adventures, and as the Director of Gap’s foundation, Planeterra, a non-profit organization with a history of supporting communities through travellers’ desire to give back.

The session was full of rich examples of current projects that Planeterra and Gap are spearheading to benefit the local communities they work with around the globe–the women’s weaving cooperative in Peru, polar bear research in the Artic, the New Delhi street kids project in India, and the Tibet Eye Camp-restoring vision to hundreds of people with a simple 15-minute cataract surgery, etc.  Thank you, Richard, for such a highly interactive and educational session on giving back through sustainable tourism!

Richard Edwards, Gap Adventures and Planeterra

Richard Edwards, Gap Adventures and Planeterra

It’s been very powerful to understand how everything is so interconnected and how the private sector, the donor community and a triple bottom line approach can contribute to sustainable tourism development.

-Paula, student

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