Anne Majumdar

More than 100 staff from around the world descended upon Intrepid Group Melbourne Global Head Office’s 2018 Company Day and Awards night earlier this month.

Attendees included 23 of the company’s top global tour leaders from countries as far afield as Egypt, Cambodia, Bolivia and Eastern Europe.

CEO James Thornton, Zina Bencheikh GM of PEAK Marrakech, Intrepid Group co- Founders Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester

CEO James Thornton, Zina Bencheikh GM of PEAK Marrakech, Intrepid Group co-Founders Darrell Wade and Geoff Manchester

During the day, the room heard from guest speakers including Gihan Perera, Tanya Hosch, Belinda Durante and motivational speaker Dylan Alcott OAM.

Then, an award ceremony in the evening saw staff rewarded for their hard work with an adventure cruise in Thailand aboard one of Peregrine Adventures’ new small ship cruising itineraries.

Leigh Barnes- Intrepid Group's Chief Purpose Office MC'd on the day

Leigh Barnes- Intrepid Group’s Chief Purpose Office MC’d on the day

The global tour leaders also got to know Australia a bit better with some excursions to the Mornington Peninsula with Intrepid co-Founder Geoff Manchester.

So what were the topics discussed on the day?

Apart from celebrating another record year, Chief executive James Thornton told KarryOn that taking the lead on issues close to the company’s heart was a major focus.

James Thornton, Award Winner Liz McCraw of Industry Sales and Brett Mitchell - AU NZ Regional Director - Intrepid Group

James Thornton, Award Winner Liz McCraw of Industry Sales and Brett Mitchell – AU NZ Regional Director – Intrepid Group

“One of our main focuses is on increasing diversity and inclusion for staff, travellers, and locals,” he said.

“In 2018 we will continue to work to improve gender equality as well as increasing our focus on accessible tourism and on how we can better support indigenous Australians and the indigenous communities where we travel.”

A number of Intrepid’s local leaders from around the world shared their insights, and the group discussed opportunities and challenges.

Intrepid Group co-Founder Darrell Wade

Intrepid Group co-Founder Darrell Wade

“We’ve got a big vision of Changing The Way People See The World, so Intrepid’s main concern is ensuring we have the right resources to do everything that we want to do,” Thornton said.

“And as such, our team is looking to expand – so recruiting more talented people to join our fantastic team is a focus to ensure we can keep up with our growth plans.”

Intrepid’s two macro strategic aims are to grow the market for Sustainable Experience Rich Travel and to operate a business with a Purpose Beyond Profit.

Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton and Michael Edwards - Intrepid Group's Chief Growth Officer

Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton and Michael Edwards – Intrepid Group’s Chief Growth Officer

“To grow our business globally, we’ll continue to take a leadership role in the industry in the Purpose space – not only through the advocacy on issues such as orphanage tourism or philanthropy through The Intrepid Foundation, but also through supporting the development of new product that supports local community based tourism,” Thornton said.

“It’s now almost 30 years since Intrepid began, but it’s still product innovation opportunities that get us excited.

“Our themed product ranges, such as food and cycling, continue to go from strength to strength and we’re already seeing a huge response to our new Adventure Cruising range. In 2018, we’ve added five itineraries in Europe and another five in South East Asia, and we have lots more destinations on the horizon. I can’t wait to share them.”

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