“We’re going to build a big team down here”: Explore Worldwide on its big plans Down Under

  • Explore Worldwide Media Event
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  • Michael Edwards Explore Worldwide
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Explore Worldwide has come roaring into 2024, nabbing itself a B Corp certification and diving head first into the Australian market.

That’s what attendees at Explore’s media lunch heard the wholesaler’s vivacious managing director, Michael Edwards, say as he gave a rundown of his company’s sustainability efforts, new offerings and and goals for the year.

Appropriately taking place at Re, a Sydney-based bar that was officially deemed the world’s first zero-waste bar, Edwards and Explore’s regional director ANZ, Ben Ittensohn, outlined the wholesaler’s sustainability-minded approach to travel.

“[Travel is] finding ways to connect with the world. It doesn’t damage it, but enhances it,” Edwards said.

And the world hasn’t been the only thing enhanced by this attitude, with Edwards praising the B Corp certification process as integral to enhancing his own business. He highlighted the importance of opening up his business for others to look inside of as a means of allowing them to see how Explore lives by its values.

Explore currently runs over 350 trips to over 100 countries. With 42 years under its belt, and 20 in Australia, Explore wants to continue expanding its offerings, particularly Down Under.

‘’We’re going to build a big team down here, we’re going to invest in it massively,” Edwards said, adding the need for travel to be a force for good in the world, benefiting communities and the environment as its undertaken.

“We want a world in which we can solve some of the problems around global warming and still give people the opportunity to travel because it changes you as a person [and] gives you life-enhancing experiences [and] crucially supports those local communities,” he said.

“Travellers go to India and the Taj Mahal, and it’s amazing. Most of us have probably been there. It’s phenomenal. But no one ever comes back and says ‘I’ve seen the Taj Mahal’. It was sharing the experience with like-minded people, or meeting a local going in somebody’s home and having a meal.”

Edwards added that this attitude is crucial to Explore as if people can’t travel in the future it will be to the detriment of those communities. He also praised the rise of solo travel, particularly post-pandemic, and highlighted the huge shift towards it in recent years.

“Over 60 per cent – probably about 65 per cent of our customers are solo travellers,” Edwards said.

“I think in the past solo travellers were seen as singles hoping to meet the man or woman of their dreams on holiday.

“That perception has completely changed since the pandemic, because I think what happened was for two years we lost our freedoms and we kind of used to take our freedom for granted. But then suddenly, it was taken away and people have come out of the pandemic, with this ‘seize-the-day’ mentality – or ‘I’m not going to wait [mentality]’.”

Outside of the company updates, trends and philosophies, attendees heard from Donna Page, a traveller who embarked on a cycling trip with Explore despite having a hamstring injury. Page commended the group environment of comradery and friendship that meant she could enjoy the trip.

And, what’s a travel event without a giveaway! One lucky attendee won an Explore Worldwide trip and flights after answering a series of Explore Worldwide-focused questions.

Check out some photos of the event at the gallery above!

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