Intrepid’s impressive efforts to reduce the impact that its tours have on the environment will bode well with increasingly environmentally aware travellers. Even with the prospect of longer journey times, the move will be attractive to those seeking an experience-led and eco-friendly trip, solidifying Intrepid as a leader in responsible travel.

Intrepid has announced plans to remove flights of under 90 minutes on its top 50 itineraries by 2022 – if there is a viable land or rail alternative. The company hopes to decarbonise and reduce the impact its operations have on the environment. These small changes will future-proof Intrepid’s offering and ensure it has environmental considerations at the heart of its operations.

Travellers are concerned about sustainability

Now is a better time than ever for Intrepid to overhaul its operations to benefit the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic’s wave of lockdowns and travel restrictions has seen many tourist hotspots benefit from a decrease in visitation; Venice even saw the return of fish to its famous canals. As a result, travellers have become more aware of the impact that tourism has on the environment.

GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 recovery survey (fieldwork undertaken 2-6 December 2020) revealed that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 31%* of global respondents have made reducing their environmental footprint slightly/significantly more important than before, with a further 12% making it their top priority.

This significant shift in consumer sentiment cannot be ignored. Operators could be at risk of losing potential bookings if consumers begin to select the most environmentally friendly provider. Many tour operators have been slow to react in reducing their environmental footprint, and Intrepid could benefit from being a leader in this sense.

What seems like a minor adjustment could create a significant reduction in the carbon emissions emitted when travelling with Intrepid. By listening to travellers and then acting quickly to make a change, Intrepid will be viewed as an environmentally conscious business, and it could benefit its recovery. The company is one of the largest certified B Corp travel brands. A B Corp is a business that balances profit and purpose to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy to create a positive impact for their employees, communities and the environment. This further proves how being a force for good is at the heart of the company’s ethos.

A longer journey time will not be an issue for some

Opting for alternative transport methods will inevitably increase travel times, but it is unlikely to be an issue for some travellers. Being able to experience a range of transport options while reducing carbon emissions will be attractive for more responsibly minded travellers. Train and road travel will provide travellers with a more immersive travel experience as opposed to flying straight over land. Road and rail transport overseas is often very different from what is found in one’s own country and may become the selling point of Intrepid’s trips. The experience proposition could be enhanced and set Intrepid apart from its competitors.

This new move from Intrepid will likely increase the prospective number of bookings the company attracts and will ensure the business is fit to operate in a more environmentally conscious world. With the prospect of more travellers seeking less environmentally straining trips in the future, Intrepid could be set for an increase in demand for the actions it is now taking.


*GlobalData’s latest COVID-19 Consumer Recovery Survey, conducted 2-6 December 2020, 5,766 global respondents

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