When it comes to driving demand for a niche product and travel ideals, Chimu Adventures founders Greg Carter and Chad Carey are no strangers to the challenges and sacrifices involved.

Having spent the past 13 years successfully promoting and selling remote locations and sustainable travel in an otherwise mainstream market, they’ve made a huge impact in doing exactly that with Chimu Adventures.

What began as an idea in a pub in England, between then travel buddies Chad Carey and Greg Carter, has since expanded into a AUD$40m enterprise, which has not only taken thousands of travellers to destinations they never thought possible, but raised over a quarter of a million dollars for various charitable causes and work prolifically in micro-financing, offering impoverished people a sustainable start to a new life.

Most recently, it’s led them to partner with the Intrepid Group, a company in which they share the same ethical values and goals.

They are also just about launch an AUD$5m boutique hotel in Lima, Peru, which will see them train and nurture marginalised locals in yet another tourism project for good, and 2019 will see them launch their inaugural and exclusive Arctic departure to the wonderland of Spitsbergen, where travelling aboard the refurbished Ocean Atlantic, guests will get to cruise amongst the world’s largest areas of untouched nature.

Pictured: James Thornton - CEO, Intrepid Travel, Greg Carter - Co-founder, Chimu Adventures and Chad Carey - Co-founder, Chimu Adventures.

Pictured: James Thornton – CEO, Intrepid Travel, Greg Carter – Co-founder, Chimu Adventures and Chad Carey – Co-founder, Chimu Adventures.

But despite all of the success they’ve achieved on their journey so far, both Greg and Chad still feel like this is somehow just the beginning.

“Like any business it takes time to establish, we began working nights on third-hand laptops and threw the words ‘cumbersome’ and ‘problematic’ around more than ‘profitable’ and ‘successful’ when it came to our original business plans, but we had a dream and we were not willing to give in to the mainstream.” Says Chad Carey, Co-founder of Chimu Adventures.

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Greg Carter (Chimu Co-Founder) with his family in Patagonia

“We would have been a lot better off in the back pocket, in the beginning, if we didn’t have a sustainable angle to our business plan. Overheads are high and margins are low in travel and I think that’s what originally puts other business off supporting charities, but right from the outset we drew a sustainable angle into our plan and I’m proud that we’ve not only been able to maintain it but grow that area of our business.”

Chad Carey, Co-Founder Chimu Adventures

Chimu Adventures manage to maintain their charitable practices by specialising and selling niche travel products in Latin America, Antarctica and now the Arctic.

They frequently run charity cruises with celebrity guests to the Antarctic and have just launched their inaugural charity cruise to the Arctic, Arctic Unveiled which will benefit the MAD project, Chimu’s charity and voice for small NGOs and worthy charities in Australia.

“We’ve managed to sustain substantial sales and our charity work in these niche locations by being the driving force behind the market we want to be in, not a reactionary company waiting to be told what to do by riding on the coattails of other existing businesses. We made a noise and travellers have followed and we would love to see more of the industry using this same mindset” Says Carter.

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“Travellers, like sheep, can tend to follow the trend, so we need to be leaders, we need to influence not only in the product that we sell but the ethics behind the products we sell. We believe that our business is proof that this can be done.” Says Carter.

To make this noise, Chimu Adventures have spent the past 13 years in storytelling mode, constantly advising and creating awareness of niche locations, driving important messages to consumers on what they can see beyond the Eiffel Tower and how they can travel to make a difference.

This very saying was the driving force behind their charity ‘MAD Project’, otherwise known as Make A Difference Project where their mission states;

“If we are all at least doing something instead of nothing, each and every action will add up to create a global reaction and together we can create a better future for our planet, people and environment.”

Chad Carey, Co-Founder Chimu Adventures

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“We’re frequently astounded by industry members saying that they have no demand for a certain product, location or style of a trip when we know it is there. Just look at our business. We need to collaborate as an industry, make a noise and create a better future, not only for our industry but the locals impacted by our travellers. If all we are doing is fighting a price war against each other, this industry will be limited.” Says Carey.

To meet this customer need, Chimu Adventures are offering travel agents personal consultation and comprehensive marketing packs to help Agents grow their businesses to diversify the demand from their consumers, attract more high yield bookings from the locations they operate in and, at the same time, drive sustainable practices in the industry.

To find out more on bespoke consultations from Chimu Adventures, contact their partnership manager [email protected] or call her on 0434 228 969.

READ: Greg Carter (Chimu): Travel to change the world

READ: Darrell Wade (Intrepid): Travel to change the world

READ: Matt Leedham (KarryOn): What if we travel to change the world in 2017?

Is the industry too ‘old skool’ when it comes to selling travel responsibly and identifying new, more ethical trends? Share your thoughts below.