The Intrepid Group has created two new senior roles as it bids to become the first ‘billion dollar’ (£572 million) adventure travel company by 2025 and increase its focus on helping destinations it sells.
The adventure travel company has promoted Michael Edwards, regional director of the EMEA region, to the new role of chief growth officer, and promoted Intrepid’s north America regional director Leigh Barnes to the new role of chief purpose officer. They join a global leadership team reporting directly into chief executive James Thornton.
The company has set a revenue goal of one billion Australian dollars by 2025 as well as separately targeting $3 million Australia dollars by 2020 to donate to local communities through its Intrepid Foundation.
The moves comes two years after the company split from Tui and follows a year of 28% growth out of the UK. Three months ago the company bought a 50% stake in Latin America and Polar specialist Chimu Adventures.
In his new, expanded role, Edwards will oversee marketing and sales revenues across all Intrepid’s markets. Regional directors will now report into Edwards instead of Thornton. A replacement for Edwards’ regional director role is now being sought.
He said: “We are getting bigger and restructuring accordingly; it shows we are maturing as a business and as such we have got to make sure we have got the leadership that can deliver on its goals.
“We are making sure our commercial goals are aligned with our purpose goals. A lot of companies talk about having a purpose but don’t necessarily commit to the level we are.”
Expansion next year includes Intrepid Travel’s first Antarctica cruise charters in partnership with Chimu Adventures, and an expanded adventure cruising programme, to include Asia for the first time.
Part of the role as chief purpose officer will be to increase the company’s focus on initiatives that give back to local communities through its Intrepid Foundation. This will include spreading awareness in the trade of what the company does.
“It’s incredible important agents are aware of these initiatives,” Edwards added.
Currently, customers can donate to the Intrepid Foundation and the company matches donations and also runs internal intiatives to raise funds as well as assigning a portion of the profits each year to support a number of different projects.
In 2018, the company has pledged it will commit 0.75% of global revenue towards ‘purpose’ activities to help communities in the destinations it operates to.