Tourism

Explore appoints former Intrepid chief Michael Edwards as managing director

United Kingdom-based tour operator Explore has recruited the Intrepid Group’s former chief growth officer, Michael Edwards, as the company’s new managing director.

Beginning at Explore on 5 April 2021, Edwards joins the company from a long-established career in the adventure travel industry, including six years in senior leadership roles with the Intrepid group and, most recently, consultancy roles at Nomadic Tribe and The Travel Collective.

Joe Ponte, Hotelplan UK CEO, said he was delighted to welcome Edwards to the team.

“Michael’s experience in the small group adventure travel category is unparalleled and makes him the perfect recruit to continue Explore’s strategic ambitions to become a global business.

“I look forward to working with Michael and the team at Explore to come back stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic, building on the solid foundations already in place, and the company’s reputation for doing the right thing.”

Edwards began his career in digital marketing, developing the online strategy for well-known consumer travel brands, maximising SEO and driving online sales.

Moving into a GM role, he spearheaded product, marketing and sales for all seven Tourism & Leisure Holdings brands, and then established EMEA as the leading sales region for G Adventures as managing director EMEA.

As managing director for EMEA and then chief growth officer at the Intrepid Group, Edwards oversaw the development of several new source markets, leading global partnerships and increasing revenue and profitability across all brands and regions.

Edwards said he was excited to join Explore at what is “a pivotal time for the business, as we start to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic”.

“I have long admired the company’s approach to sustainable, experiential travel, and its stellar reputation among its customers,” he said.

“There is great potential for further growth through travel agents, and I am looking forward to working with the team and our trade partners to build back even stronger, both in the UK and globally.”

John Telfer will continue at Explore as deputy managing director after Edwards joins the business to support his integration. Telfer will then support the Hotelplan board on a part time basis.

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