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Intrepid Travel wins tour guide Oscars again

October 9, 2017 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Intrepid Travel is today celebrating winning Gold and Bronze at the Wanderlust World Guide Awards 2017, the tourism industry’s equivalent of the ‘Oscars for tour guides’.  The adventure travel company has had more finalists than any other in the history of the awards.

This year saw Khalid Lamlih, an Intrepid Travel leader who grew up in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, clinch first place at the ceremony at London’s Royal Geographical Society on Thursday 5 October 2017, receiving his Gold Award from legendary travel writer Bill Bryson.

Meanwhile, Intrepid Leader Dinesh KC’s dedication to sharing his love for his native Nepal over the past decade has been rewarded with the Bronze Award.

These awards, now in their 12th year, recognise the world’s best tour guides and honour these far too often unsung heroes of the travel industry, as voted for by Wanderlust Magazine readers and a range of knowledgeable and experienced judges.

Each year thousands of tour guides from around the world are nominated by their travel clients, making it a tough job for the winners to be chosen. Intrepid Travel’s local leaders have now been recognised with three Gold, one Silver, and three Bronze Awards as well as a one-off award for Outstanding Contribution.

Leader training is a key focus for Intrepid. More than 150 tour guides were trained by the company last year, meaning the Intrepid Group now has more than 1000 tour guides leading trips around the world, with an average feedback score of 4.78 out of 5 from customers.

“Being a tour leader is not just a job, it’s a vocation,” says James Thornton, CEO of the Intrepid Group. “It takes a pretty special person to not only bring a place to life, but to also bring a diverse group of people together. That’s why we’re thrilled that Khalid and Dinesh have been recognised not only by the judges, but by travellers.”

Khalid Lamlih, winner of the Gold Award, thrives on helping visitors to Morocco learn as much about the culture and the country as possible, in a fun and friendly manner. He said his stand-out moment whilst working a decade-long career at Intrepid Travel has been assisting a band of travellers in becoming immersed in a traditional Moroccan wedding party. “I love showing people around my country and I am grateful that so many of my clients took the time to nominate me.”

Dinesh KC, winner of the Bronze Award, began working for Intrepid Travel as a porter in Nepal, before being promoted to a group leader. After 10-years guiding for Intrepid Travel, Dinesh holds an impressive amount of facts and knowledge that most tour-guides would struggle to remember.  He commented, “I work really hard to make sure my groups have the best time when they are visiting Nepal and I’m incredibly proud that they value their time with me, but also with my country, and with Intrepid. It is knowing I’m supporting the local communities that helps me to stay passionate about what I do every day.”

More than 40% of Intrepid Travel’s leaders have been with the business for more than five years and 60 staff who are now office-based began working with the company as a tour leader.  The company is seeking new tour guides globally, after opening new Destination Management Companies in Japan in August, and in Iceland and Central America later this year.

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