Intrepid has smashed the fundraising goal for its vaccine equity campaign in less than two months, as it introduces mandatory vaccination for its Aussie trips, sweetening the deal with the return of its $1 deposit sale.
Through its philanthropic arm The Intrepid Foundation, the tour operator had committed to raising $100,000 for UNICEF’s ‘VaccinAid: Give the World A Shot’ appeal.
To date, the campaign has raised more than $105,000 to help UNICEF to deliver vaccines in low-income countries. The funds Intrepid has raised so far will allow more than 20,000 people to be fully vaccinated.
In addition to fundraising, Intrepid has supported education and access to vaccines, including paid vaccination leave for office-based permanent staff, providing on-the-ground resources in Peru, including free transportation to a vaccination hub for trekking porters and their families in Cuzco, and education sessions for office-based staff and tour leaders with a member of the World Health Organization’s technical advisory committee and the International Society of Infectious Diseases to help ease vaccine hesitancy in Sri Lanka.
These efforts have resulted in 91 per cent of Intrepid tour leaders across six continents receiving their first vaccine and 75 per cent being fully vaccinated.
“While there is encouraging progress being made with vaccination rates, the global pandemic is far from over,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Group.
“The entire travel industry must continue to step up to acknowledge and act on the current inequalities around global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“One hundred per cent of donations via The Intrepid Foundation go to UNICEF Australia’s Give the World a Shot appeal to support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to some of the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged countries around the world.
“Our customers, people and the communities we visit around the world deserve a safe return to travel.”
The company has also announced that from December, all customers and tour leaders in Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel on all Intrepid Travel trips.
Previously, Intrepid’s global policy excluded the ANZ region due to lockdowns and restrictions; however, with vaccination rates being met, restrictions set to ease and more local travel on the horizon, the company is bringing the policy in line with the rest of the world.
And, to coincide with Australia’s big reopening announcement, Intrepid has also brought back its $1 deposit sale for all domestic and international trips.
Intrepid now offers more than 800 international tours across 80 international destinations and more than 60 local trips in Australia.
“We have noticed more travellers craving adventure after being stuck at home for such a long time, said Brett Mitchell, chief commercial officer at Intrepid Group.
“Our $1 deposits are designed to give people the peace of mind to lock in a trip of their dreams.
“Aussies now have the chance to book a trip for around the cost of a local bus ticket in Marrakech, a hot dog in New York City or some pan-fried pork buns in Shanghai.”
The $1 deposit offer will run from now until 21 November 2021 for departures before 14 December 2022.