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Active Travel gets an Upgrade

A new age of travel is upon us, with travelers staying active for longer and demanding more from their overseas experiences.

It’s a trend that group tour operator G Adventures is catering to, with the November 2023 launch of its Geluxe program, which it further expanded in March this year on the back of strong demand.

The Geluxe range now counts 45 programs in 17 countries and offers the immersive experiences for which G Adventures is known, combined with additional comfort and upgraded food experiences. Activities include rafting, kayaking, trekking and cycling among others.

“Geluxe has picked up really quickly,” Founder Bruce Poon Tip tells The CEO Magazine. “It’s the fastest launched program we’ve ever had, and we’ve launched a lot of products over the years.”

An interesting dynamic has already emerged in its first six months, with 80 percent of the travelers booking Geluxe in the 50-plus age bracket – a demographic that Poon Tip says G Adventures really wanted to hit, as the company is traditionally associated with younger travelers. It’s also proving particularly popular with female travelers.

It’s one of the first programs that G Adventures has developed from data, he explains. “The data was showing us that this product didn’t exist and that our travelers wanted it, so we’ve been working on this program for five years to get it right,” he says.

“Now you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for community.”

Celebration with Conscience

It’s long been traditional to celebrate a 60th anniversary with diamonds. That’s why, to celebrate its own diamond jubilee, French luxury hotel brand Sofitel has unveiled an exclusive collaboration with responsible jewelry icon Courbet.

The special collection uses lab-grown diamonds to highlight the pair’s shared commitment to delivering a positive impact to both the environment and local communities. Sofitel has done this over the years through the ecological certification of its hotels as well as the careful management of its food waste and the removal of single-use plastics.

Meanwhile, Courbet, the first responsible jeweler of the Place Vendôme, focuses on sustainability by blending cutting-edge techniques with respect for nature, with its lab-grown diamonds meriting the same gemological certifications as those sourced from mines.

“At Sofitel, we believe in a hospitality where luxury goes hand in hand with sustainability: in other words, luxury that inspires not only through its elegance, but also through its commitment to environmental and societal responsibility,” said Maud Bailly, CEO of Sofitel Legend, Sofitel, MGallery and Emblems.

“The partnership between Sofitel and Courbet seemed like a natural fit to celebrate our 60th anniversary, our diamond jubilee, bringing together two maisons anchoring French excellence in an eco-conscious approach.”

A Maldivian Milestone

The opening of SO/ Maldives marks the completion of the CROSSROADS Maldives, the Indian Ocean’s first fully integrated leisure destination, which first launched in September 2019.

The “glamorous new fashion-led retreat” from S Hotels & Resorts is the third luxury lifestyle resort for the CROSSROADS project, which is expected to transform the Maldivian tourism and hospitality sectors.

The new offering joins Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives (Curio Collection by Hilton) in being seamlessly connected to world-class facilities at The Marina @ CROSSROADS. The 800-meter lifestyle area and beach walk is home to numerous restaurants and bars, along with a beach club, retail boutiques, wellness centers, water sports, diving and snorkeling. There is also a kids’ clubs, an events center and a 30-berth yacht marina, plus the Maldives Discovery Centre cultural hub and Marine Discovery Centre.

“The grand opening of SO/ Maldives marks an important milestone for S Hotels & Resorts as we officially complete the first phase of CROSSROADS Maldives,” CEO Michael Marshall tells The CEO Magazine.

“With its high-fashion, luxury lifestyle concept, this exceptional resort will perfectly complement our two existing properties in the Maldives, further broadening the appeal of this multi-island integrated resort destination.”

The Networking Atlas

When it comes to building those all-important business connections, not all cities are equal. Those with a solid background of international trade and multiculturalism tend to have a more vibrant business landscape with a crammed events calendar and the right infrastructure to draw professionals from all walks of life together to exchange valuable ideas.

So where do you need to go to join the action? We round up the 10 best global networking hubs.

Top Networking Cities at a Glance

1. LONDON, United Kingdom

Average number of network events: 2,851

Number of coworking spaces with events: 1,400

Combined Score: 1,777

2. WASHINGTON DC, United States

Average number of network events: 1,497

Number of coworking spaces with events: 295

Combined Score: 824

3. NEW YORK CITY, United States

Average number of network events: 1,107

Number of coworking spaces with events: 594

Combined Score: 703

4. TOKYO, Japan

Average number of network events: 805

Number of coworking spaces with events: 581

Combined Score: 548

5. BERLIN, Germany

Average number of network events: 810

Number of coworking spaces with events: 250

Combined Score: 468

6. PARIS, France

Average number of network events: 637

Number of coworking spaces with events: 409

Combined Score: 422


Average number of network events: 714

Number of coworking spaces with events: 87

Combined Score: 380

8. BANGKOK, Thailand

Average number of network events: 541

Number of coworking spaces with events: 64

Combined Score: 287

9. ISTANBUL, Türkiye

Average number of network events: 350

Number of coworking spaces with events: 33

Combined Score: 185


Average number of network events: 261

Number of coworking spaces with events: 140

Combined Score: 167

Japanese Heli-hike Adventure

Now you can explore Japan’s untouched wilderness in an exciting new way with the launch of the country’s first heli-hike tour, taking visitors by helicopter into the Southern Alps National Park, which is usually off-limits to visitors.

The three-night, four-day tour from Explore Shizuoka offers intrepid travelers a luxurious adventure that includes mountain climbing, hiking, touring a whiskey distillery and soaking in hot springs.

Director General of Tourism Shizuoka Japan, Kazuyoshi Ueda, shared with The CEO Magazine that there has been strong interest in visiting this remote area.

“We are thrilled with the interest travelers have had for this new tour. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the untamed beauty of Japan’s wilderness, complemented by luxurious accommodations and exclusive experiences,” he said.

Experiential Boom

With travelers seeking out greater value and outstanding travel experiences that aren’t necessarily the cheapest, Accor Plus is bumping up its program of experiences and events.

This doubling down on experiential travel comes as the loyalty program celebrates its 30th anniversary, CEO Renae Trimble tells The CEO Magazine.

“We always work hand in hand with the team at Accor and our vast hotel network to provide curated experiences, and we like to go above and beyond to include added extras tailored to what we know our members like, whenever we can,” she says.

Some of these exclusive and curated experiences include backstage meet-and-greets and celebrity chef dinners, with the added benefit of choice thanks to Accor’s extensive brand portfolio.

“Burning points, just as people love to do with flights, is what our members thrive on,” Trimble explains. “They’re burning their ALL points for limitless experiences that includes tickets to sold-out shows at Accor Stadium (think Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters) and major sporting matches.”

In 2023, Accor Plus members burned 6.2 million points and Trimble doesn’t expect that to slow down anytime soon.

“With 2024 being our 30th anniversary, our members are in for an incredible ride,” she reveals.

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