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Intrepid Hits $350m: 2017 Record Year for Sustainable Travel

February 1, 2018 Tour Operator No Comments Email Email

Carbon-neutral travel company the Intrepid Group is celebrating record growth, with revenue up by 17% to $350M in 2017, the UN’s Year of Sustainable Tourism Development.

It’s the second year of record growth for multi-brand Intrepid Group and comes two and a half years after the travel company split from TUI Plc to become an independently-owned company with a ‘purpose beyond profit’.

Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton says that the Australian-owned business is seeing an increasing global demand for sustainable and immersive tourism experiences, with growth across all brands and regions that the company operates resulting in record profitability for the year.

The Melbourne-based Intrepid Group employs 1800 staff in 30 offices, is now the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, operating through tour operator brands Adventure Tours Australia, Geckos Adventures, Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures and Urban Adventures.

In August, the Intrepid Group announced that it was investing in Chimu Adventures, taking a 50% stake in the company, with Polar charters a key priority for the partnership. The deal which will make Chimu and Intrepid Group the largest seller of Antarctica trips in Australia and one of the largest globally, was funded through Intrepid’s cash reserves.

The year also saw Intrepid Group’s launch its first season of Adventure Cruising, with 94% trip fill on charters giving the company confidence to expand the range in 2018; the opening of new destination management companies in Japan and Central America; day tour company Urban Adventures almost double its passenger numbers; as well as record levels of customer enjoyment.

According to Thornton, the results support that Growth and Purpose, the two goals in Intrepid’s 2020 business strategy are indelibly linked.

“It’s become increasingly evident to us that having a Purpose Beyond Profit can actually be profitable” says Thornton, who was appointed as CEO of the Group, as well as Chair of The Intrepid Foundation in 2017.

“Growth is nice on its own, but it’s this sense of Purpose that has us excited about the future because it means the more we grow, the more we can do”.

The Intrepid Foundation, the Intrepid Group’s not-for-profit also marked a record year in 2017, raising $1M for local and international charities.

“The travel industry continues to be impacted by the social and environmental events that face our world today. While the Year of Sustainable Tourism might be officially over, it’s in all our best interests that conscious travel companies do more to give back to the places and people they visit. The good news is, that it’s what travellers want too’.

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