Intrepid has announced a strategic investment that will see the company take a 40 per cent stake in RAW Travel, a global leader in tailor-made and self-guided walking adventures. The new partnership is effective immediately.
READ MORE: Intrepid adds more than 100 tours for 2020
Australian-owned RAW Travel will remain independent of the multi-brand Intrepid Group, with co-founders Dave and Mel Reynolds continuing to have complete autonomy in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Intrepid co-founder Darrell Wade will join the RAW Travel board.
A demand for eco-friendly adventure
The investment from Intrepid recognizes the growing demand for active adventures from increasingly eco-conscious travellers.
“Today, more than ever before, travellers are seeking trips that inspire, challenge and have a positive impact on the environment and on communities. We’ve seen huge growth in walking adventures globally, and best of all, they have a super low carbon footprint. RAW Travel are the market leaders in that space,” said Intrepid CEO James Thornton.
While Intrepid’s investment was motivated by the growing market for low impact adventures, Thornton says it was shared values and history with RAW Travel that sealed the deal.
Like Intrepid, RAW Travel is carbon-neutral and last month the Australian-owned company also became a certified B Corp, joining Intrepid and more than 2,800 businesses around the world that are committed to being a force for good.
Dave Reynolds worked for Intrepid for five years before founding RAW Travel in 2006. The company is based in Mornington Peninsula, near Melbourne and now has 50 staff around the world.
“I am genuinely thrilled to be partnering with Intrepid given our shared values and belief in sustainable, experience rich travel. It feels like I’ve come full circle to be working again with the people who I first started out with in the industry. We look forward to further growth as a result of our partnership, as well as the opportunities to learn from Intrepid’s global expertise and relationships with like-minded people. These are the people I trust the most and I couldn’t ask for a better fit for our business.”
RAW Travel is Intrepid’s second investment since the Melbourne-based company’s original founders bought back the business in order to grow the market for sustainable experience-rich travel. Now the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, Intrepid has seen three consecutive years of record results since returning to independent ownership and has seen 16 per cent growth in 2019 to date.
“We’re delighted to welcome Dave and Mel and the RAW Travel team into Intrepid’s extended family, as well as into the growing B Corp community. It’s the next step for both of our companies in a story that demonstrates the long-term value of investing in sustainable growth,” said Thornton.
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