Global travel B Corp Intrepid Group has kicked off its future growth plans with a 60 per cent stake in not one, but two touring brands.
Haka Tours and ANZ Nature Tours each offer a range of culturally rich tourism experiences for both the local and international inbound markets, and were both part of Haka Tourism Group.
The acquisition bolsters Intrepid’s operational capability in New Zealand and allows it to leverage its global distribution capability to scale rapidly as local travel, as well as international tourism, recovers.
With offices in both Auckland and Wellington, Haka Tours was established by founder and CEO Ryan Sanders (pictured above, left) in 2007. Sanders will remain a board member and shareholder in the business.
Haka Tours’ board will be chaired by Intrepid CEO James Thornton (pictured above, right) and include the company’s chief operating officer, Tom Beadle.
Under the agreement, the Haka Tours team will return to their regular hours, after having worked reduced time for much of the pandemic. Haka Tours general manager Eve Lawrence will lead the business on a day-to-day basis.
Both Haka Tourism brands have a focus on immersive and authentic Māori experiences, which Thornton said is significant for Intrepid’s aim to support the growth of First Nations tourism via its range of trips throughout the world.
“Travel is back, and we’re excited to kick off our new phase of growth with this first announcement,” he said.
“New Zealand is really important to us and I can’t think of a better place for Intrepid to be expanding – both from an inbound and outbound perspective.
“New Zealand is our largest outbound market per capita of population. The country is also renowned as an international tourism destination – pre-COVID, we struggled to meet demand and we expect it to bounce back really strongly in 2022.”
Intrepid’s 2025 growth strategy will see the business expand its local travel offering globally and leverage its vertical integration capabilities.
Intrepid is the largest travel B Corp globally, and Sanders said the Haka brands will look to become a B Corp as well.
“This marks the next phase in Haka’s growth journey,” he said.
“I started Haka with the vision to do things differently and share our land and culture with people who had a passion for adventure and travelling the local way. Together with Intrepid, we’ll continue to do just that.”
The acquisition is the first one by Intrepid since the pandemic began.