August 6 was a monumental day for Intrepid Travel. For the first time since COVID-19 brought travel to a global halt in March, the small group adventure travel company officially departed on a tour with six travellers in Greece, writes managing editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s issue of Canadian Travel Press.
“While this is by no means a return to normal, we do hope these trips will serve as a source of hope and inspiration for the industry after several months without travel,” James Thornton, the CEO of Intrepid Travel, tells Canadian Travel Press.
In direct response to local restrictions beginning to lift following the COVID-19 outbreak, Intrepid launched a new collection of “Closer to Home” tours designed to give travellers the opportunity to explore closer to home while many international borders remain closed.
“With the majority of international borders still closed, we’ve shifted our focus recently to develop new product catered to local travellers who are interested in exploring domestically,” he explains. “These new ‘Closer to Home’ tours, which are curated by locals for locals and tailored to each country’s individual restrictions, includes over 75 multi-day tours in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.”
While the initial launch didn’t include offerings within North America, Thornton is quick to add that they intend to expand the range in Canada and the U.S. within the next few months. Highlighting this new range is a new theme called Intrepid Retreats.
“This new category is a first for Intrepid, in which groups immerse themselves in one location, in handpicked accommodation ranging from small boutique properties to glamping, with nearby experiences,” he says. “These retreats celebrate ‘slow travel’ and allow adventurers to engage with the surrounding communities away from the crowds and in a more controlled setting.”
Another option for travel agents looking to grow their domestic business is through day tours.
“From now through the end of 2020, day tours in 16 North American cities will re-launch with a combination of standard group tours, private tours and create-your-own adventures through Intrepid Urban Adventures,” he says.
For the full story, check out this week’s issue of CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS.