News & Events
OUT Adventures' Robert Sharp featured as the Notable.ca Young Entrepreneur of the Day
Robert Sharp is a 28-year-old entrepreneur and co-founder of one the top gay and lesbian travel companies around, OUT Adventures. The company is just over three years old and has already amassed a loyal and repeat clientele and taken a huge chunk out of this travel sector's competition. Find out more about this adventurous entrepreneur in today's YEDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
OUT Adventures is an adventure tour operator that has broken the mould within the Gay and Lesbian travel segment. That’s right, gay travel – one of the most profitable segments within the travel industry. We provide clients with trips that really focus on experiencing a country through its culture, and people – not just the tourist spots you can find in a guidebook.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
My business partner and I are very well travelled and we were both burnt out with our respective careers. We knew there were large mainstream adventure companies like Intrepid Travel and Gap Adventures and wondered why this style of travel wasn’t really available to gay and lesbian travellers. With our combined sales and marketing experience, we knew that we could create something really amazing, and voila: OUT Adventures was born.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Hands down, dealing with our clients. To be only three years into the business and have such a loyal following is the justification that I believe most sales and marketing professionals seek, at all levels. Industry recognition is one thing, but happy (and repeat) clients are the most rewarding part of any business, in my opinion.
The most challenging part of our day-to-day business is focusing on just a few tasks or projects at a time to ensure they are executed well. I tend to be full of ideas, and perhaps other entrepreneurs can relate with me when I say I sometimes have to stop and take time to collect myself rather than risk spreading myself thin with too many initiatives.
View the full article on Notable.ca
Winq Magazine - Winter Edition*- Winter, 2010/2011, by Jurriaan Teulings
Mountaineering with Beyonce
Gays & adventure: an odd combination
The cynical view of this would be that any country that relies as heavily on tourism as Nepal will (in the absence of a dominant, hateful Abrahamic state religion) sooner or later warm up to this travel-happy demographic, and a few token gestures towards the local LGBT community will do just the trick. To which I say: if that’s what it takes, fine. While the commission assigned to draft the same-sex marriage legislation has been dragging its feet – the law is now expected sometime in 2011 – the first LGBT tour operators have already arrived to set up their itineraries.
Among them Out Adventures, a Toronto based operator specialised in gay adventure travel. Nobody’s wrestling alligators here – in most cases the ‘adventure’ on offer stands for anything outside the comfort zone of the gay traveller whose idea of exotic is a Carribean Cruise and a shopping trip to Paris. (“OMG Craig, look! They’ve got a Zara!”) According to their website, Out Adventures offer ‘safe, non-judgemental holidays that would allow us be ourselves while exposing us to parts of the world that not everyone has seen.’ Which is really a kind way of saying, ‘hold on to your pearls ladies, we’re going on a local bus.’...
Full article here
The Out Traveler G.P.S.*- December 3, 2010
Tour of the Week: Costa Rica with OUT Adventures
When most people think Costa Rica, they think of beaches and sun. Although these are among the top highlights, gay-owned and gay-operated, Toronto-based Out Adventures offers a gay tour for those seeking both relaxation and adventure in this stunning, verdant, safe, and friendly country.
Few countries offer the diversity that Costa Rica does where you can watch a sophisticated gay show in San Jose one day, discover La Fortuna by bicycle the next, zip over the mist-shrouded rainforest in Monteverde after that and finish with rest and relaxation on the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.
This tour runs a few times per year and the company limits its group size to 12, claiming that a more authentic experience is achieved while traveling in smaller groups, and also with a local leader from beginning to end. Note that the February departure will also be accompanied by handsome, gregarious Out Adventure co-founder Robert Sharp.
Full article here
Meet the Nominees for Best LGBT Tour Operator of 2010!
“Group travel’s just not my thing,” you say? “I’m more of a lone wolf. Master of my own domain…” That is, until you’re on a street corner in Istanbul trying to find a taxi, or lost in Buenos Aires with no clue where to find the hot restaurant — or the hot gays!
That’s why LGBT tour operators rock. They take care of you. They show you the world, and the best do it in a safe, smart and fun-centric (yes, that’s a word) way. And face it, managing any group of gays — on a scuba trip, a Caribbean cruise, a hike to view amazing ruins or even to the corner bar — comes with challenges.
So, let’s give it up for the nomineees Best Gay Tour Operators. They forge ahead for us, en masse. They introduce you to the world, and vice versa.
Full details here
Way, way out there
- May, 2010 - Scott Dagostino of FAB Magazine investigates the world of adventure travel and the gays who love it
Gay travel used to be simple. Buy a plane ticket to a gay hub (Montreal, New York, San Francisco, P-Town, South Beach Miami, London or Berlin), pack a few ribbed tank tops and a pair of white pleather pants in a suitcase with a secret compartment, check the local gay rag for which hot DJ is playing where and you were set. But then we had to go and spoil it all by becoming curious.
Now, even the kind of guy who gets nervous east of Parliament St wants to travel to the exotic places only lunatics and libertines like William S Burroughs or Bruce Chatwin previously dared.
Part of the blame for this must be laid at the feet of locals Steven Larkin and Robert Sharp, who channelled their passion for exploration into Out Adventures (OA), an adventure travel company that takes small groups of gays and lesbians to the far corners of the globe. For those travellers sick of being protected from the world in gay-exclusive resorts or exhausted by the aptly named cruise ships, hiking through Nepal or kayaking in Thailand is a welcome change.
To read the complete feature article, click here.
Scenic, cultural, fun-loving and gay-friendly
- May, 2010 - As the world celebrates International Day Against Homophobia, we look at a few of Asia's top gay-friendly travel spots
It's International Day Against Homophobia today, and while some parts of Asia are a little bit backward when it comes to tolerating, let along embracing, alternative lifestyles, there are a few cities that are leading the pack with gusto. Here's a quick rundown on the continent's top spots that are happy to be gay.
To say that Nepal is a major gay travel spot right now may be stretching the point, considering its not-so-illustrious past. Homosexuality was a crime in Nepal up till 2007, with gays being harassed routinely by law enforcement, and Maoists condemning them as a "product of capitalism."
But change is in the air. Nepal is now being touted as the next big gay travel destination in Asia, with the tourism board toying with the idea of promoting same-sex weddings on Everest and elephant safaris for gays (we’ll spare you the 'Brokeback' jokes for now). The country will host the first Asian Symposium on Gay and Lesbian Tourism in June, and is making great strides in the recognition of gay rights thanks to a flamboyant gay activist and a member of parliament called Sunil Pant.
And homosexual jetsetters are starting to sit up and pay attention. "Our Active Nepal trip was brochured in 2009. However, we had very few inquiries and no bookings on the tour. When the country began its focus on [gay and lesbian] PR in late 2009 we saw an instant spike in interest and our October 2010 departure was sold out by the beginning of March," said Robert Sharp, co-founder of gay tour operator OUT Adventures.
Read more: Asia's most gay-friendly tourist destinations | CNNGo.com
OUT ADVENTURES TAKES HOME 2 IGLTA MARKETING AWARDS
May 12, 2009 – TORONTO, CANADA
Toronto based OUT Adventures was the big winner at the 2009 International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association’s annual convention, taking home Best Website and Best Sales Collateral awards. That represents 2 out of only 3 awards presented each year. The awards gala happened this past Saturday, May 9th in OUT Adventures’ hometown of Toronto.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by this global organization of over 1,300 members” says Robert Sharp, Co-Founder of OUT Adventures. “We aimed to provide a clean website and brochure that speaks to our customer base, and couldn’t be happier that our peers have identified this effort”.
John Tanzella, Executive Director of IGLTA adds “We are very excited to have OUT Adventures as a member of IGLTA, and we congratulate them on winning two awards for their marketing efforts at our recent Annual Convention. OUT Adventures is truly a leader in providing incredible itineraries all over the globe, and ensuring value for their clients”.
The OUT Adventures website can be viewed at www.out-adventures.com. And they encourages both clients and industry partners to choose the eco-friendly option of downloading their brochure at http://www.out-adventures.com/web/brochure/.
For more information please contact Robert Sharp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.583.2680.
Left to right, Steven Larkin, Co-Founder OUT Adventures, Eric Blais, Director New Media, Peacepoint Productions, Les Tomlin, President/Executive Producer Peacepoint Productions, Andrew Chang, Chief Operating Officer Pink Triangle Press, Robert Sharp, Co-Founder OUT Adventures at the IGLTA Annual Convention Gala in Toronto, Canada.
Left to right, Loren Christie, CTV’s Canada AM, Robert Sharp, Co-Founder OUT Adventures and Andrew Roberts of gay travel speclaiist Amro Worldwide in England at the OUT Adventures reception welcoming the IGLTA to Toronto.
OUT Adventures Announces Launch Of Lgbt Family Tours
NOVEMBER 24, 2009 - TORONTO, CANADA
Canadian based OUT Adventures announces 8 new Family trips which are dedicated to LGBT parents with children above the age of 6. Trips will operate in Thailand, Vietnam, India, China, South Africa, Spain and Italy with a maximum of 14 passengers per departure.
|Gay Tour Operator Announces Launch Of Lgbt Family ...
||November, 2008 @ 1888PressRelease.com
OUT ADVENTURES LAUNCHES OPERATIONS
OCTOBER 3, 2008 - TORONTO, CANADA
Canadian-based OUT Adventures Inc. officially launches their operations and website today – October 6th, 2008. Business and personal partners Steven Larkin and Robert Sharp created OUT Adventures to address a void in the lesbian and gay (LGBT) travel segment.
“As average gay travelers, Steven and I felt we could leverage our extensive knowledge of the LGBT market and mainstream travel industry to provide a more affordable, culturally enriching experience to gays, lesbians, their friends and families,” says Robert.
Larkin adds “Gays and lesbians are looking for their next big travel experience. But in this day and age they also don’t want to break the bank. We offer a truly engaging, comfortable experience that hopefully leaves them planning their next journey with us”. Gay and gay-friendly leaders will run the OUT Adventures trips, focusing on small groups (no more than 12 passengers), real life experiences, affordability and responsible travel.
In order to provide the best itineraries at affordable prices, OUT Adventures has partnered with the world’s leading adventure tour operator, Intrepid Travel from Melbourne, Australia. Intrepid Travel will hold a 20% minority interest in the company and OUT Adventures in turn has the ability to work with a global network of destination management companies which fall under the Intrepid brand.
Darrell Wade, CEO and Co-founder of Intrepid Travel adds “There are many companies offering high-end and luxury travel to this market but few, if any, who offer affordable and grassroots travel. This is where OUT Adventures and Intrepid Travel step in to offer gay and lesbian travellers real life travel experiences to over 35 destinations around the world”
Recent research from the United States shows that 58 percent of gays and lesbians travelled internationally in 2007. Of those, 53% spent between $1500 and $3499 per vacation, while 31% spend over $3500 per vacation.
Travellers can choose from different trip styles, including Active, Comfort, Family and a premium level of travel, In Style. All-inclusive trip prices average CAD $2300. OUT Adventures trips are available directly through www.out-adventures.com, Intrepid Travel and travel agents worldwide.
For more information please contact Robert Sharp at email@example.com
About OUT Adventures Inc.
Toronto, Canada based OUT Adventures was founded by President Steven Larkin and Executive Vice President Robert Sharp and provides closed small group adventures to the LGBT community with over 35 worldwide destinations. OUT Adventures aims to offer a more affordable, culturally engaging and eco-friendly travel experience.
OUT Adventures is a proud member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association and the Travel Industry Council of Ontario. Visit www.out-adventures.com for more information and complete product offerings.
About Intrepid Travel Pty Ltd.
With over 19 years of experience, Intrepid Travel is one of the world’s leading small group adventure tour operators. Intrepid offers over 450 itineraries in more than 90 destinations worldwide. Intrepid trips are designed to go off the beaten track, meet the locals and travel in an unconventional way, joining locals on their transport, in their markets and even in their homes. Visit www.intrepidtravel.com for more information.
Feature published in Outlooks Magazine
OCTOBER 1, 2008 - TORONTO, CANADA
IT’S A SMALL (GAY) WORLD AFTER ALL
Whoever said that gays are taking over the world was right. Or at least a few steps closer with the inception of OUT Adventures. The lovechild of Robert Sharp and his partner - both in business and at home - Steven Larkin, this new company offers adventure travel exclusively to the GLBT community.
Homegrown in Calgary, Robert followed his heart to Toronto after meeting Steven 5 years ago. Together they toured the world. However, each time they’d return feeling there was a void in the travel market. Never one hundred percent comfortable holding hands or kissing in public while other straight couples were snapping photos, they decided to address the issue by starting their own company.
“We wanted to offer a safe, comfortable travel experience for people like us.” says Robert. “There were the gay cruises and resorts, but nothing that satisfied our adventurous spirit.”
And with trips from Swaziland to Rio, adventurous it is indeed. The company’s focus is on small intimate groups. No, not that kind of intimate. But the laundry list of why they’re a unique and green travel choice goes on and on: eco-friendly and sustainable tourism; employing local resources; trips to all seven continents; and affordability. A high-flying homo couldn’t ask for more.
So pack your facial products, tell the bar tenders you won’t be seeing them for a while, and brush up on your foreign pick up lines. OUT Adventures is ready to show you how big and gay the world can really be.
For more information on specific adventures, visit www.out- adventures.com.