NTIA18 WINNERS: What makes Intrepid Travel the Best Int'l Tour Operator?

What does it take to be an award-winning tour operator? What are clients AND Travel Agents loving about their product and their service? What is Intrepid doing that others aren’t?

What does it take to be an award-winning tour operator? What are clients AND Travel Agents loving about their product and their service? What is Intrepid doing that others aren’t?

We asked all the big questions to Intrepid Travel, which over the weekend, was named the ‘Best Tour Operator//International’ at the 2018 National Travel Industry Awards (NTIAs).


Haven’t seen the full list of winners yet? Click here.

Intrepid Group’s Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Brett Mitchell, told KARRYON that the award is a testament to the brand’s hard work along with its customer-focus and shared-values.

He said sustainability has also played a big role in the company’s success over the years and believes it will play an even BIGGER role in the future of travel.

Read on for more of what he had to say.


What does being recognised by the industry in this way mean to you?

I feel incredibly proud and this award is a testament to the hard work, customer-focused and shared-value approach to the business. It shows that our philosophy and values resonate with others in the industry and we are on the right track.


What are some little or big touches you and the team make to ensure you leave a positive impression on Agents?


Sarah Clark, GM of Marketing for AU/NZ + Katie Breen, Industry Marketing Executive for AU/NZ at Intrepid Group

We have an outstanding team of BDMs out on the road and we’re constantly keeping in touch and listening to feedback. We strive to “always be better” and look for shared-value outcomes- we wouldn’t exist without the support from our agent partners.  We believe in the value of true partnerships in growing business.


What are some changes the brand has made over the last year that would have contributed to your success this year?

We launched a campaign that encouraged people to ‘Be Intrepid’ in the current political and social landscape.

What does it mean to us? At its core, it means to have an open mind, be curious, responsible, fearless and challenged.

The response to our Be Intrepid campaign has been unbelievable so far, and really resonated with our agency partners, travellers and staff across the world.


What would you recommend to other brands hoping to win in future years?


The Intrepid Travel team celebrating post-win.

Focus on your partners and customers and always strive to be better and to innovate.

Plus, look to improve the social and environmental conditions in the areas that you operate to create shared value. We focus on our purpose and have seen outstanding growth as well as improved engagement from staff and partners alike.


How important is your organisation to the industry?

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

We would love to think that we are growing the travel pie in the sustainable, experience-rich travel space and providing unique and new experiences, that are based around shared-value to benefit all stakeholders.

Responsible business is at the heart of what we do and important to the industry.

We were the first global tour company to end elephant rides and have been dedicated to raising awareness on a number of issues in the industry, including orphanage tourism and climate change.


What do you love about the industry?

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

Everything, but especially the people and the collaboration the industry takes to continually evolve, innovate and grow. It’s such a rewarding industry to be a part of.


What do you think the future holds for the travel industry?


Sustainable travel will become mainstream. There are some very exciting times ahead for the industry, with travel now the world’s largest industry and travellers are more socially conscious than ever before.

The industry has the power to change lives, bring attention to pressing world problems, and deliver much-needed monetary support to communities in need. But it can also contribute to growing challenges like over-tourism, rising carbon emissions, social inequality, and issues with child protection.


What’s your advice for people thinking of joining the industry?



It is a huge industry with so much to offer and there are so there are so many disciplines and opportunities for you to learn and grow in.

From working as an Agent, BDM, to working in finance, operations, marketing and the creative industries – there is real scope for growth and development.

View joining the industry as a life-long career. It sounds clichéd but the saying choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life feels especially relevant in this industry.


READ: Congratulations to this year’s NTIA winners

READ: Intrepid takes on Contiki with youth trips 

READ: Meet the Agents who got Intrepid’s new tagline tattoed

Join us in congratulating Intrepid Travel on a job well done. CONGRATULATIONS.