Wholesalers

“Great companies need to step up”: Intrepid CEO talks transparency and corporate responsibility

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

To say Intrepid had a good year in 2018 would be somewhat of an understatement.

The adventure travel company released its second-ever integrated annual report, marking its third year of record revenue growth, profit growth and improved customer satisfaction.

Intrepid achieved 18 per cent gross revenue, at $402 million and an EBITDA result of $16.1 million (up from 22 per cent from 2017) and more than 430,000 passengers carried across its brands.

But financials are just one part of Intrepid’s integrated annual report, which is part of its commitment as a certified B Corp to transparency and public accountability.

“In 2018 we won some serious awards, but the best one by far was becoming a certified B Corp,” Intrepid CEO James Thornton said addressing Intrepid employees from around the world at the company’s Global Summit in Melbourne last week.

“This achievement was three years in the making. It touched every aspect and every part of our business. It helps us focus on not just being the best travel company in the world, but being the best company for the world.”

Intrepid CEO James Thornton with key note speaker Mina Guli
Intrepid CEO James Thornton with keynote speaker Mina Guli

While 2018 saw loads of product innovation for Intrepid, with the launch of their Women’s Only Expeditions and Polar Charters just to name a few, Thornton said innovation goes beyond product, it goes into the company’s purpose.

According to the report, The Intrepid Foundation disbursed $1.15 million in 2018.

“We’re making a commitment this year to become the world’s first climate positive travel company, where we talk about carbon in a negative sense,” he said.

“We want to change the agenda and we will focus on becoming the world’s first climate positive travel company.

“Secondly, we’ll focus on putting one per cent revenue towards purpose by 2020. It’s that type of innovation beyond product that’s going to be really important for us. It’s the innovation of our business model.”

According to the report, Intrepid will carry 450,000 customers all over the world this year, with two million people visiting its websites each month. 

By 2025, those numbers are expected to double, seeing the adventure travel company carrying more than a million customers a year and close to five million people visiting their websites.

As Thornton pointed out, that size and scale dwarfs some small countries.

“But as a business, unlike a country, we actually cross many borders. We’re global in nature and I believe therefore that we can have as much potential for impact as any politician in the world,” he said.

“People in the world can no longer rely on politicians alone to make decisions that benefit people and the planet. Great companies need to step up.

“We’re doing great things with our foundation but we have to do more. And intrepid as a platform has an opportunity to make an amazing difference.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Travel Agents

Flight Centre acquires Aussie travel company

Flight Centre is hoping this latest acquisition will give its Australian leisure business a much-needed boost.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Agents say G’day to LA, win a trip to New York state + MORE!

If you’re not marching in the climate strike today, you may as well make use of your time in the office by checking out the latest famils and events.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the week: Crystalbrook Collection’s new PR, Akaryn Group gets VP of development and operations + MORE!

This week’s industry appointment wrap up is particularly flavoursome, and not just because there’s a man holding a whopping great mud cake as the lead image.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Industry reacts to shock collapse of Tempo Holidays and Bentours

by Huntley Mitchell

The sudden exit of Tempo Holidays and Bentours from the local market has prompted other travel companies to offer support for affected agents and clients.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

“I didn’t do it”: Watch as sightseeing ship strikes World War II vessel on Hudson River

by Christian Fleetwood

A passenger vessel travelling the Hudson River has collided with a decommissioned war vessel. Watch the chaos unfold here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb offers fans the chance to stay at Downton Abbey castle

Do your clients fancy staying in an ultra-luxe castle for the night with 300 rooms? Help them live out all their royal family fantasies with this.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: LAX’s historic rental car facility, Rail Adventures’ Sri Lanka commission + MORE!

If this week’s Road & Rail Wrap was a meal, it’d be a family-sized banquet, as opposed to it usually looking like chicken stuffing and sides.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Malaysia’s newest hotel brand, Fairmont’s underwater art installation + MORE!

Looking to cure your post-hump day blues with something other than a bottle of vodka or a block of Cadbury Top Deck? Feel instantly better with our Hotel Wrap!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline puts its crew on a “low-fat” diet after firing several for being overweight

It’s not clear whether the heavily indebted airline made the decision to save money or to get its crew into shape. Either outcome is not ideal.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean’s biggest challenge “has been the same thing for 50 years”, says vice chairman

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly recently joined Royal Caribbean’s Adam Goldstein for lunch and conversation. Here’s what we managed to regurgitate… from the chat, that is. Not the ham sandwiches.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Jetstar flight to Bali forced to turn back over windscreen crack

An eight-hour flight to Bali turned into a six-hour flight to Melbourne when pilots noticed something wasn’t quite right with the plane’s windscreen.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Agoda unveils fresh look

Coincidentally, Travel Weekly’s editor is also trialling a new look. However, his cornrows are far less “fresh” than Agoda’s swanky new font and dots with eyes.

Share

CommentComments