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Intrepid Adds Japan To DMC Network to Meet Growing Demand for Sustainable Travel

August 29, 2017 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Inbound tourism to Japan has been growing rapidly, up 16.9%, and the country is expecting to see a further increase in travellers in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. But a recent McKinsey report says that the industry needs to take travellers beyond Japan’s three major cities to ensure sustainable tourism growth.

Intrepid Travel’s itineraries in Japan include a trip to Ashaikawa’s ice festival, cycling in the Noto Peninsula, a food tour to Koya-san, and a new trip to Southern Japan in 2018.

The multi-brand Intrepid Group, which began as Intrepid Travel in 1989, takes small groups travelling off-the-beaten track and supports the local communities they visit. The Australian-owned company is now a vertically-integrated global business that employs 1600 staff in 27 offices and takes 350,000 travellers to more than 100 countries each year.

The new Kyoto office, which is operated under the PEAK DMC brand, will be the base for 20 local staff and guides to take thousands of travellers throughout Japan’s most iconic sites as well as lesser known destinations for Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Geckos Adventures and other tour operator brands.

“We’ve seen a huge appetite for a more sustainable and experiential style of travel globally, across all ages and budgets” says the Intrepid Group’s CEO James Thornton.

“One of the benefits of this style of travel is to bring tourism into smaller communities, which is increasingly important for preserving culture and natural beauty in a country like Japan where people are moving to into large cities.”

The company, which is the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, reported a 69% increase in departures of its Intrepid Travel branded trips to Japan last year, including double the number of travellers on its Japan Family Adventure trips. The group’s premium adventure travel brand, Peregrine Adventures, has also seen its Japan bookings increase by 38% throughout 2016 and youth travel brand Geckos Adventures has seen 13% growth in the second year that it’s taken travellers to the destination.

PEAK DMC Japan will be opened on 25 August 2017 in a ceremony by the Deputy Governor of Kyoto Prefecture Mr Takeharu Jofuku.

The new PEAK DMC office will become the Intrepid Group’s eighteenth destination management company in its global network, with new PEAK DMC companies due to open in Iceland in November and in three Central America locations in January 2018. PEAK DMC Japan is currently recruiting English-speaking locals for product, sales and tour leader roles throughout the country.

“Kyoto was chosen as it is the cultural hub and heart of Japan” says Joanna Crisp, General Manager for the new Intrepid Group office in Japan.

The PEAK DMC global network of award-winning local leaders together make the company of the largest employers of tour guides in the world.

“A great tour guide wants our travellers to experience all the things they love about their country –that might be making traditional Japanese handicrafts making, or getting their hands dirty harvesting rice, or joining in a local festival. Any traveller or tour guide can use Google, but the thing that makes our leaders stand out is passion for their country. While travellers might go for a bucket-list experience, it is the local stories and authentic local experiences that truly connects travellers to the places they visit”.

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