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Kicking goals: Intrepid takes home two trophies at Responsible Tourism Awards

Intrepid Group has taken out two awards at the World Travel Market’s (WTM) Responsible Tourism Awards in London!

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The annual awards recognise the industry’s best examples of responsible tourism, using them to educate others about what can be achieved, and challenging them to raise the bar.

Presented to an audience of around 600 last week, the Awards formed part of WTM Responsible Tourism Day – the biggest responsible tourism event globally.

The adventure travel company picked up Gold awards in both the Best in Communicating Responsible Tourism and Best in Employment categories.

Intrepid Group CEO, James Thornton, said the awards were well-timed to coincide with the company’s milestone achievement in becoming the world’s largest travel B Corp – verifying its purpose beyond profit ethos.

James and Nat

“Since our beginnings almost 30 years ago, responsible travel has been at the core of our company,” he said.

“Our B Corp certification not only adds credibility to that mission, it extends our commitment to operating a responsible business at every level, where we look to create value for all our stakeholders – from our employees to communities, the environment, suppliers and customers.

“Better still, much like these awards, it helps us to create a pathway for other travel businesses to keep striving to be better.”

Thronton also copped praise recently from Aussie heartthrob, Tim Robards who happened upon him midair.

View this post on Instagram

#DiariesOfaFrequentFlyer ✈️#Ep14 This is a man who’s reputation precedes him… Whilst checking in for my flight I was told that the chap I would be sitting next to was a lovely bloke and I would be In good company… Although I think I scared him as I sat next to him, looked him up and down with a big smile and said ‘You sure are a lovely bloke’… it turns out we were both headed to the same conference as guest speakers. James became the youngest CEO of @intrepidtravel at age 31. There is much debate in the office as to whether he’s the most intelligent and best looking but he insists that he holds those records too ?. A hotly debated topic but not bad for a prior semi pro soccer player from the UK, who laughs with blunt honesty ‘I played striker, but never made it to the top because I simply wasn’t good enough’. It seems @jamespthornton has kicked some serious goals though in his life… he married his biggest fan, Natalie, and they are parents to a 6 year old potential future soccer star ⚽️, Art. I’m sure if James has it his way, Art will be the next Ronaldo! #Whythesediaries? #EncouragingUstoConnect #HumansOnaPlane #WhosNext?

A post shared by Tim Robards (@mrtimrobards) on

Intrepid’s Best in Communicating Responsible Tourism award, for the successful use of cause-campaigning to address a tourism-related issue, acknowledged its year-long Namaste Nepal campaign.

The campaign saw Intrepid realise that as Nepal’s largest trekking operator, it could do more to help those affected by Nepal’s devastating earthquake in 2015.

Despite raising $400,000 in its initial emergency appeal, Intrepid knew a bigger disaster would emerge if travellers stopped visiting the country post the quake – with tourism being its number one source of employment.

The company explained to travellers that the best way to help Nepal was to get back there, and committed to giving all the profits from its 15/16 trekking season in Nepal back to the local people.

By partnering with international NGOs like WWF and Plan to market these trips, Intrepid was able to raise a further $750,000 for Nepal, matching all funds dollar-for-dollar.

The Best in Employment award recognised Intrepid Group Colombo for its efforts in ensuring decent and fair working conditions, along with employing and upskilling local people.

Intrepid Group Colombo – which consists of a global service centre and local destination management company through the Group’s B2B brand, PEAK DMC – has become an industry leader in challenging the cultural norms and management practices that can impede responsible employment in Sri Lanka.

The Awards also named the Intrepid Group’s not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation, as one of its three 2018 honourees.


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