Video: Travel entrepreneur and author Bruce Poon Tip tells UVic students to live a purposeful life with pure intentions


A Canadian businessman whose company was inspired by the Dalai Lama is among those who received an honorary degree this year from the University of Victoria.

Bruce Poon Tip founded G Adventures, which uses a looptail as its logo. 

In an interview with the Straight in 2013, Poon Tip said that this swirling “O”, beside the “G”, symbolized “Great Ocean”, which is the translation for Dalai Lama in English.

Sixteen years earlier, Poon Tip took a biography of the Dalai Lama, entitled Great Ocean, across the border into China, which could have resulted in him being arrested had it been found by border guards.

Poon Tip’s 2013 memoir, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business, was the first business book ever endorsed by the Dalai Lama.

It came, in part, because Poon Tip had launched many international philanthropic projects.

In his videotaped address to UVIC students, the Trindidad-born and Calgary-raised entrepreneur told them that it’s important to listen to their heart and find their purpose. From that, he added, they will feel guided.

“As you go into the world leaving this creative environment of learning and endless supportive ideas, the first thing you have to do is learn to listen,” Poon Tip emphasized. “Your first big challenge is hearing when destiny calls.”

He also recommended living a life of pure intentions.

“It’s not easy sometimes,” he acknowledged, “but it’s completely natural.”

Video: Watch Bruce Poon Tip’s speech

This wasn’t Poon Tip’s first honorary degree. He received similar recognition in 2019 from Capilano University, which is a leader in tourism and outdoors education in B.C.

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