Intrepid acquires US-based operator Wildland Trekking

Intrepid Travel has acquired US-based active and outdoor adventure tour operator Wildland Trekking.

The acquisition will boost the total number of US tours offered by Intrepid to 57. It follows the recent launch of 38 new tours in the US, due to start later this year.

Wildland’s staff will all remain with the business. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The adventure specialist said its acquisition builds its operational capability in the US and provides “more diverse and robust outdoor adventure-based options for both domestic and international travellers”.

Intrepid accelerated its investment in the US due to Covid-19, after seeing a spike in interest for domestic tours among US travellers when borders were closed.

Last year, Intrepid Travel built and launched its own dedicated North American operations hub under North American managing director Matt Berna.

In 2019, US domestic travel spending reached nearly $1 trillion, Intrepid expects this to grow in the coming years and said it “presents a significant market opportunity”.

“Wildland Trekking has such an incredible history of operating exceptional and innovative trips, and we’ve been really impressed with their commitment to running tours that are also good for the planet,” said James Thornton, chief executive of Intrepid Travel.

“This acquisition will play an integral part in Intrepid’s journey to becoming a billion-dollar adventure travel company by further increasing our operational capabilities in the region, but more importantly, it signifies our commitment to growing and scaling our style of sustainable, experience-rich travel within the US.”

Wildland Trekking, founded in 2005 by Steve Cundy, Scott Cundy and Brad Ball, offers hundreds of US itineraries – ranging from hut-to-hut trekking through the Presidential Range in New Hampshire to backpacking trips throughout the Rocky Mountains and Desert Southwest.

The acquisition will merge each company’s operations and business in the US, with plans to develop new trips in Alaska and the Canadian Rockies and to build more winter season trips.

Wildland Trekking has accommodated more than 75,000 travellers since its inception, built a team of nearly 200 staff, and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for conservation initiatives. In 2021, it saw bookings jump by 20%.

The company operates with a “leave no trace” mentality and has been in the process of becoming carbon neutral. Intrepid said this “aligns well” with its own priorities as a certified B Corp.

Co-founder and partner Steve Cundy said: “At Wildland Trekking, we prioritize sustainability, conservation, safety and professionalism, while striving to create life-changing experiences for every guest who travels with us.

“It was clear to us that Intrepid possesses all of these same values.”

“We’re thrilled to add an exciting and unique set of experiences to Intrepid’s portfolio of programs and to play a large part in building Intrepid’s presence in North America.”