Wholesalers

Intrepid takes 40 per cent slice of Aussie travel company

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Intrepid Group has announced a strategic investment that will see the company take a 40 per cent stake in RAW Travel.

The Australian-owned company, which specialises in tailor-made and self-guided walking adventures, will remain independent of Intrepid, with co-founders Dave and Mel Reynolds (pictured above, left and middle) continuing to have complete autonomy in the day-to-day operations of RAW Travel.

Intrepid co-founder Darrell Wade will join the RAW Travel board as part of the deal, which is effective immediately.

Intrepid CEO James Thornton (pictured above, right) said the investment recognises the growing demand for active adventures from increasingly eco-conscious travellers.

“Today, more than ever before, travellers are seeking trips that inspire, challenge and have a positive impact on the environment and on communities,” he said.

“We’ve seen huge growth in walking adventures globally, and best of all, they have a super-low carbon footprint. RAW Travel are the market leaders in that space.

While Intrepid’s investment was motivated by the growing market for low-impact adventures, Thornton said it was shared values and history with RAW Travel that sealed the deal.

Like Intrepid, RAW Travel is carbon-neutral and last month became a certified B Corp. Furthermore, Dave Reynolds worked for Intrepid for five years before founding RAW Travel in 2006.

The company is based in Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne and now has 50 staff around the world.

“I am genuinely thrilled to be partnering with Intrepid, given our shared values and belief in sustainable, experience rich travel,” he said.

“It feels like I’ve come full circle to be working again with the people who I first started out with in the industry.

“We look forward to further growth as a result of our partnership, as well as the opportunities to learn from Intrepid’s global expertise and relationships with like-minded people. These are the people I trust the most and I couldn’t ask for a better fit for our business.”

RAW Travel is Intrepid’s second investment since the Melbourne-based company’s original founders bought back the business.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, Thornton said the deal with RAW Travel eventuated from “months of discussion” after Intrepid was approached by the tour company early in 2019.

He said it was possible Intrepid’s minority stake in RAW Travel could turn into a majority stake down the track, but noted that this wasn’t part of the plan in the short-term.

“Dave and Mel have done a fantastic job with RAW Travel so far, and we’re perfectly happy for them to continue doing their thing,” he said.

“Where Intrepid will provide a lot of value is through mentoring, particularly with Darrell joining RAW Travel’s board.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Could airport sniffer dogs detect coronavirus-infected travellers? A new trial is set to find out

A trial is taking place in the UK to see whether man’s best friend could detect COVID-19 in travellers, even before symptoms appear.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Small-ship luxury expedition cruising set for “strong comeback”: Ponant APAC boss

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly caught up with Ponant’s Monique Ponfoort (while maintaining a 1.5m gap, of course) to find out how the cruise line is coping amid all this corona-craziness and how she expects the sector to bounce back.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

British town gets influx of hilarious fake Tripadvisor reviews after PM’s advisor breaks lockdown for a visit

Barnard Castle’s Tripadvisor page has been inundated with fake reviews poking fun at a British political advisor who seemingly broke lockdown laws.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Fiji Airways saved by government after terminating more than half of its staff

by Huntley Mitchell

Fiji Airways has been handed a lifeline by the country’s government, after being forced to take some “painful” measures to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Japan debates traveller subsidy as it emerges from nationwide state of emergency

The Japanese government is reportedly considering subsiding a portion of tourists’ travel expenses once the COVID-19 outbreak is under control.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

PM the latest to pressure states over border closures, as Qld premier fires back at Tourism Minister

by Christian Fleetwood

ScoMo has been busy talking up the potential of Aussies soon travelling across the Tasman Sea, while Birmo has been busy trading barbs with Queensland’s premier.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“Lets get out there”: Matt Cameron-Smith talks domestic tourism boom and agents’ role in “de-risking” travel

by Ali Coulton

The AAT Kings group CEO also shed some light on The Travel Corporation’s plan to add more domestic trips across its brands.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

STUDY: Qantas among Australia’s most-trusted brands during lockdown

Despite its wings being clipped by the COVID-19 pandemic, Qantas has still managed to maintain its status as one of Australia’s most-trusted brands.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Dozens of mammoths discovered under future Mexico City airport

Do you consider yourself a bit of a modern-day Howard Carter or Gertrude Bell? If so, this story will definitely tickle your archeological fancy.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: PONANT’s new training module, Evergreen’s red-hot offers + MORE

If this week’s Cruise Wrap is anything to go by, the sector is pushing for its return in a big way, rewarding agents in the process.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

ATIC and ATEC launch COVID-safe programs for SMEs

Two of Australia’s industry bodies have developed practical support for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. However, that’s not to say they copied each other’s ideas.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Bench Africa’s Cameron Neill

This week, we chat with Bench Africa’s general manager about spicy food, Cirque de Soleil soundtracks and how to potty train a two-year-old.

Share

CommentComments