Tour operator Gap Adventures forced to change name after losing lawsuit to The Gap

Since 1990, Toronto-based Gap Adventures has been known for their adventurous, active, and immersive group tours, as well as their commitment to sustainable tourism and contributing back to the community. One thing Gap Adventures will no longer be known as, however, is, well, Gap Adventures.

American clothes retailing behemoth The Gap filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Canadian outfitters, claiming they unfairly made use of the word “gap,” thereby confusing consumers and achieving an undeserved level of success. Unfortunately for Gap Adventures, Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the United States District Court in Manhattan agreed. Rather than appeal this decision, and thus spend millions in legal fees and years tied up in court, Gap Adventures’ CEO Bruce Poon Tip relented and accepted the lower court’s ruling. So from now on Gap Adventures will now be known as G Adventures.

Gap Adventures, sorry, G Adventures has long been a favorite among backpackers and other independent-minded travellers who would normally never consider booking an organized trip. Similar to Australia-based Intrepid Travel, they eschew the tour buses and cattle herd-like trappings of the traditional package tour, instead relying on local transportation, homestays, and authentic experiences. G Adventures will continue to offer trips dedicated to off the beaten path and responsible travel, albeit now under a much more generic moniker. Poon Tip hopes that along with the new name will come a renewed effort to market the company’s offerings to U.S.-based travelers.

So if you ever sought out to purchase a pair of cargo shorts and instead ended up on a river boat down the Amazon, I guess you now know who you can blame.

[flickr image via Anthony Lui]