Wholesalers

Intrepid offloads tour operator, purchases stake in another

Intrepid Group has agreed to sell Adventure Tours Australia (ATA) to Imperium Capital Group as part of the investment company’s plan to expand its Discovery Adventure Group business.

Imperium Capital’s deal with Intrepid includes shares in Outback Tour Services (OTS) and selected assets from Kimberley Wild Expeditions to run West Coast and Kimberley trips.

As part of the deal, Intrepid has taken a stake in Discovery Adventure Group, a multi-award winning eco-certified tour provider which operates a range of guided, tag-along, premium tours and shuttle services on the East Coast of Australia.

The addition of the ATA brand will expand Discovery Adventure Group’s ability to provide quality tours around Australia, while OTS will provide destination management capabilities, according to a joint statement by Imperium Capital and Intrepid.

Imperium Capital Group is owned by Andrew Cox, who owns and operates a range of other tourism and hospitality businesses across Australia and New Zealand, including Peterpans Adventure Travel, Backpackers World Travel, Student Uni Travel, The Travel Project, Freedom Hostels, The Imperium Collection, and Adventium Technology.

“This acquisition is part of our strategy to expand our adventure tour operations across Australia,” Cox said.

“The strength of the ATA and OTS brands and businesses in Central and Western Australia made it an attractive proposition to us, as we have until now been primarily East Coast focussed.

“This deal expands our adventure tour operations across Australia, ensuring our guests receive the same fantastic experience wherever in the country they are.”

“Our focus remains on youth and adventure travel, and [we] are pleased to be strengthening our partnership with Intrepid so both businesses can focus on what we each do well.”

Founded in the 1990s, ATA became part of Intrepid Group during the adventure company’s four-year partnership with TUI Plc.

“Over the past few years, Intrepid has been progressively simplifying its brand structure to focus on our core brands – particularly Intrepid Travel,” Intrepid CEO James Thornton (pictured above) said.

“We believe that Discovery Adventure Group is the perfect home for the Adventure Tours Australia brand, as it more closely aligns with the focus of their business.”

The deal is effective immediately and all parties will continue to work closely together over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition, according to the joint statement.

ATA brand product manager David “Thommo” Thomson will transition to Discovery Adventure Group, along with Rebecca Hargrave and OTS general manager Pieter Bosch.

Tour guides and operations staff in Alice Springs, Yulara, Darwin and Perth will continue to work for OTS and operate ATA trips moving forward under the ownership of Discovery Adventure Group.

The product and pricing structure have been set for 2020, which means it will be business as usual for customers, agents, partners and suppliers of ATA, OTS and Intrepid.

All current Intrepid Australia trips will continue to be sold in 2020 under the Intrepid Travel brand, but over time, Thornton said Intrepid’s Australia trips will become more aligned with product in other parts of the world.


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