First Intrepid tour departs since suspension of travel

traditional Greek islands. Beautiful Syros

Wholesalers are slowly coming out of hibernation, with Intrepid sending off its first group of travellers since suspending operations.

On Thursday six travellers from the United Kingdom departed from Athens on Intrepid’s five-day ‘Greece Retreat: Syros Island’ tour.

At the start of July, the UK government released a list of destinations its citizens can travel to without restrictions, including Greece.

That means UK travellers can visit Greece without having to quarantine when they get home.

The trip is part of the newly launched product range called Intrepid Retreats, which are touted as deep dives into one specific location with handpicked accommodation ranging from small boutique properties to glamping, with local experiences.

The retreats aim to celebrate ‘slow travel’ and allow clients to engage with local communities away from the crowds and in a more controlled setting.

Like all other Intrepid trips, the retreats will operate under the company’s new Safe Travels health protocols, developed in partnership with the WTTC.

Under the protocols, travellers are required to complete a health screening at the start of the trip and wear masks in certain settings, in line with local laws and regulations.

Groups will now be accompanied by a local leader who has received specific COVID-19 training, which covers hygiene, sanitation, physical distancing, PPE as well as supplier monitoring.

“We all have a role to play in a more equitable future for the travel industry,” Intrepid CEO James Thornton said.

“For us, overtourism is one issue we are closely watching. The fact our first trip is to Syros, and not somewhere like Santorini, shows our commitment to combatting mass tourism.

Intrepid will be running its second tour on 7 August, the four-day ‘Cycle the Peak District in the UK Highlands’.

“These new departures were developed in direct response to COVID to help travellers continue to explore safely and with peace of mind,” Thornton said.

While this is by no means a return to normal, Intrepid hopes these trips will serve as a source of hope and inspiration for the industry after several months without travel.

“The global pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on our industry, but we can’t help but find some hope and inspiration in seeing our first group depart on an international adventure,” Intrepid’s CEO said.

The wholesaler is also offering a 10 per cent discount on all of its Australia trips for bookings made during August 2020.

Featured image source: iStock/Freeartist

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