Home » An open letter from Intrepid Travel’s CEO: For travel to return, we need global vaccine equity

An open letter from Intrepid Travel’s CEO: For travel to return, we need global vaccine equity

written by James Thornton August 4, 2021
Traveller with guide in Nepal

Less than 1% of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide have been delivered to low-income countries, a number that must be corrected to save lives, restart economies, and meaningfully rebuild the travel industry. That’s why Intrepid is stepping up its work to support global access to COVID-19 vaccines.

One of the most profound benefits of travelling is that it reminds me just how connected we all are; that we are part of a global community, not just a local one. The greater the number of countries we visit, people we meet, and communities we find ourselves in, the more our commonality comes to light. It might sound a bit cheesy, but it’s true.

The last trip I took before the pandemic put an end to travel (as we know it) was to Peru, where I visited Machu Picchu with my family. That trip was incredible for many reasons, but it was the people we met along the way, and the immense kindness they showed us, that made that trip once-in-a-lifetime. And that has been true, for the most part, wherever I’ve travelled in the world.

As challenging as the last year and a half has been, I believe the global community has demonstrated this capacity for kindness on a universal scale. Think about it: we stayed (and, in some cases, are still staying) indoors for weeks or months at a time in order to protect the more vulnerable among us. We have been wearing masks, receiving vaccines, checking in on one another, supporting local businesses, and creating new ways of working and living. We have been practicing kindness on a massive scale.

Now, as the global vaccine rollout picks up pace, we have an opportunity to do it again.  

Because while some countries are rolling out mass vaccination programs — I’m privileged to have received both of my doses — that is sadly not the case for most of the world. In fact, less than 1% of vaccines have been delivered to low-income countries. But vaccines for the privileged simply won’t cut it. Billions of lives are still at risk.

That’s why Intrepid is this week launching our global vaccine equity campaign, which focuses on three key actions: a commitment to raise AUD $100,000 via The Intrepid Foundation to support the global delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, improving vaccine access and education by mobilising our on-the-ground networks, and the introduction of a mandatory vaccine policy on our trips.*

Our vaccination policy will require all* of our travellers and tour leaders (excluding Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands) to be fully vaccinated, effective September 1, 2021. We’re taking this step because it’s important to us that we make sure the communities we visit, our leaders and our travellers are safe and that we minimise, as much as possible, anyone’s chances of travelling with and passing on COVID-19.

I know that making anything compulsory may not sit well with some people, but even before we introduced the policy, we were already seeing vaccination rates on our trips of more than 94%. And as a company that takes our responsibility to the communities we visit seriously, we have no choice. We need to keep everyone safe. It’s as simple as that.

Of course, it is easy to say vaccinations are required, but with the uneven distribution of vaccines around the world, it is another thing to ensure people can actually access vaccines. Our fundraising and advocacy campaign aims to support just that — fair and equal access to vaccines.

Intrepid’s philanthropic arm, The Intrepid Foundation, has committed to raise AUD $100,000 to support UNICEF Australia’s campaign via the Give the World a Shot appeal. This includes an upfront donation of AUD $50,000, which will immediately help deliver COVID-19 vaccinations in countries all around the world. UNICEF is the world’s largest distributor of vaccines, and already vaccinates one in every two children on the planet. The organisation’s work will see two billion vaccine doses and one billion syringes delivered in 190 participating countries — including many where Intrepid Travel operates trips and has offices and staff — by the end of 2021.

We’re mobilising our people in those countries, too.

In Peru, Intrepid has been advocating for vaccine equality for remote communities, and offering free transport using our own vehicles to people living in the remote Sacred Valley, to help them access a major vaccination hub in Ollantaytambo. Our team has also worked with local government to advocate for a vaccination hub in Calca, where most of our Inca Trail porters live. At the start of July 2021, none of the porters that Intrepid contracts on treks had been vaccinated. By the end of July, 80% had received at least one dose. And with the memories of our Machu Picchu trip still fresh in my mind, I’m grateful that we’ve been able to assist our people in Peru in some small way in their battle against the virus.

Porters in Peru holding their vaccination forms
Intrepid porters in Peru receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations on July 30, 2021

And, in our Colombo office in Sri Lanka, Intrepid hosted a Q&A session with Professor Neelika Malavige, a member of the World Health Organization’s technical advisory committee and part of the executive Committee of the International Society of Infectious Diseases and National Covid Vaccine Committee. Neelika educated staff on vaccines, and the critical role they play in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and spent time answering questions.

We know there is a long way to go until we get through this, but returning to any kind of normal — or better yet, building a new, more compassionate normal – requires access to vaccines for everyone. I am proud to lead an organisation that is supporting that goal. And I hope that you, our Intrepid travellers, will be supportive of our goal of global vaccine equity, because I know you feel the same compassion for our global community as we do.

Give today to ‘Give the World a Shot’ via the Intrepid Foundation.

*Intrepid’s vaccine mandate policy currently excludes Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

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88 comments

Liz September 2, 2021 - 1:31 pm

It is morally indefensible to exclude 98% of African residents from travelling with you. They can not access a vaccine.

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Barbara Bayliss August 31, 2021 - 10:25 pm

I have always been a dedicated Intrepid travel fan and done several trips also recommended you . I’ve met some wonderful friends along the way from all over the world whom I’ve kept in touch with, they are feeling the same . Can I also ask why not Australia is it not the same Covid there ? But no longer . Considering after vaccination you can still get Covid and transmit I cannot see why you’re not just testing . What’s happened to freedom of choice ! So now my choice is to no longer travel with the company and won’t be recommending you

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Intrepid Travel September 6, 2021 - 4:23 pm

Hi Barbara. Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands are currently excluded because of the very different operating environments there. International borders, and many state borders, remain closed and there are extremely strict restrictions, including on travel. We fully expect things will change later this year and we will review our policy then. In other parts of the world, travellers are increasingly required to be vaccinated to enter businesses and to participate in tourism activities. We understand that not everyone will agree with this policy, and recognise it is your choice whether to get vaccinated and travel with us. It is great to hear that you’ve enjoyed trips with us in the past and we certainly hope that if you change your mind, we’ll be able to welcome you back in the future.

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Trish Kelly August 24, 2021 - 9:15 pm

It is good to see that you are helping the guides and porters in Peru to access vaccinations – but what about the guides and porters in Nepal? The guides are the very people who often make or break a travel experience with intrepid, and yet they have all lost their jobs with no guarantee of being re-appointed when tourism can finally return. Many remain unable to access vaccines. Will Intrepid guarantee that their loyal and trusted guides will be offered their jobs back?

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Intrepid Travel September 6, 2021 - 4:24 pm

Hi Trish, we agree our tour leaders are the people who make our experiences so special. That’s why we are working closely with our leaders and teams on the ground to support access to vaccinations, where we can. We believe that by supporting access to vaccinations, including through the Give the World a Shot campaign, we can help tourism return, so that guides and tourism workers everywhere can return to their jobs as soon as possible.

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ID August 17, 2021 - 5:00 am

I was a big fan of Intrepid but no more. You vaccination policy is unacceptable to me and my traveling friends. You basically forcing people to get vaccinated but people have choice ..they can stop using your company and that is what I am going to do…no more Intrepid trips for me. People should have choice and your policy does not leave room fro that choice. As far as the rhetoric about helping others I do not buy it. I think it should be up to an individual to take so call vaccination(more appropriate name is genetically engineered product). What you are dong is a form of discrimination and no pretty words can cover it!

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Barbara Bayliss August 31, 2021 - 10:27 pm

Totally agree with what you’ve said

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Intrepid Travel September 6, 2021 - 4:25 pm

Thank you for your comment and we’re sorry you feel this way. As our CEO says, we understand that not everyone will agree with this policy and, of course, it is your choice whether to get vaccinated. It is also your choice about which company you choose to travel with. However, as a responsible business, we believe this policy is crucial for supporting the reopening of tourism. We hope if you change your mind, you will be able to join us on a trip again in the future.

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Roberta Elaine Moscovitz August 12, 2021 - 3:49 am

I absolutely support your travel policy and your corporate goal of world vaccine equity. I’m thankful that Intrepid cares about the safety and health of all their clients and places that before profits in an economically challenging time for the industry. I was remarking to friends yesterday about this stance and letter without any marketing for any trips. It’s frustrating that so many other groups are advertising trips that are not available due to regional closures. I just hope to stay safe and hope all the guides working for Intrepid and their families are safe during this time.

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Intrepid Travel September 6, 2021 - 4:26 pm

Thank you, Roberta! We appreciate your support and we also hope you and your loved ones are staying safe.

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Robert August 11, 2021 - 7:00 am

I totally disagree with your vaccination policy. The family has enjoyed US based Intrepid Tours in the past and but will not book any more tours through Intrepid while your new vaccination policy is in place.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:52 pm

Hi Robert, thanks for your comments and we understand that not everyone will agree with our policy. However, we believe this is an important step to keep travellers, tour guides and the communities we visit safe. It is great to hear that you’ve enjoyed trips with us in the past and we certainly hope that if you change your mind, we’ll be able to welcome you and your family back in the future.

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Liz August 11, 2021 - 6:22 am

I too am disappointed with you.

Your letter speaks of equity. Travellers from countries with low vaccination rates can now no longer travel with you if they have been unable to access a vaccine. In many countries that is 95% of the population.

Your new policy is discrimatory against these travellers.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:41 pm

Hi Liz, like you, we’re very concerned about people in low income countries not having access to vaccines. That’s why we’ve partnered with UNICEF Australia to help deliver billions of vaccines all around the world. The Give the World a Shot fundraiser will help increase access to vaccines in communities globally.

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AL August 10, 2021 - 1:23 pm

What about those who can’t receive the vaccine but still want to travel with you? Some people are unable to get vaccinated due to health conditions or allergies. Or as you pointed out, people in low income countries haven’t had access to vaccines. Why exclude all these people?
Vaccines serve to protect the individual person from severe illness should they catch the virus, and it helps with crowd immunity. If an unvaccinated traveler wants to travel, doesn’t that risk their own health, more than it risks the rest of the group?
I’m not sure I agree with your decision to make vaccines mandatory going forward. I’m sure it makes sense what with entry requirements *right now.*
I feel like the quote you shared that 94% of your travelers are vaccinated is because those are the people willing/able to travel right now; it’s not feasible for unvaccinated people to travel right now. I don’t understand why you included that statistic, as I don’t think it validates your decision to disallow unvaccinated travelers on your trips.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:49 pm

Hi Al, if you are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons, you may be able to apply for a medical exemption. This policy has been introduced to help protect everyone – our travellers, tour leaders and the communities we visit and to support the safe restart of tourism globally, which millions of people are relying on. We understand you might not agree with the policy, but we believe this is the best approach.

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Liz August 11, 2021 - 3:00 pm

And if you are unvacvinated because you live in a country where you do not have access to a vaccine? Are you willing to provide an exemption to those people or does your equality only apply to people from weathly western nations?

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Amanda Williams August 15, 2021 - 8:31 am

Hello Intrepid travel
I’m lucky enough to have had some wonderful experiences with Intrepid returning from (India South North) On February 11th 2020 so lucky!
I can’t wait till our world recovers from this awful virus. I think your stance on mandatory double vaccination is excellent for travel with Intrepid. I can’t wait till I can start looking at your brochures again. I think your a wonderful company with great guides and a wonderful philosophy.

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Cameron B. Provick August 8, 2021 - 3:38 am

Well Done. I fully support vaccinations. It’s the most important thing that a human being can do to show that they care for others wellbeing. Anything less would be selfish.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:14 pm

Thank you, Cameron! We agree that supporting vaccine equity and protecting local communities is the most important thing we can do right now.

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Lorraine Jansen August 7, 2021 - 12:15 pm

I am very disappointed to hear that you are requiring Covid vaccination for travel with your company. As of yet there are way too many contradictions regarding the effectiveness and long term effects of these shots. As you know, people who have both shots can still contract the virus and can still transmit it. I believe your decision is premature, and you are discriminating against individuals who have valid concerns about the shot. Every person has the right to sovereignty over their own body, and no person, company, or government has the right to take this from anyone.
I am so disappointed … and as a result neither me or my partner will be travelling with your company any time soon. Please remove me from your mailing list.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:16 pm

Hi Lorraine, thank you for your comment and we’re sorry this is disappointing for you. As our CEO says, we understand that not everyone will agree with this policy and, of course, it is your choice whether to get vaccinated. However, as a responsible business, we believe this policy is crucial for the safe reopening of tourism and for our travellers, tour leaders and the communities we visit. We hope if you change your mind, you will be able to join us on a trip again in the future. In the meantime, as requested, we have removed you from our mailing list.

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Rhea August 7, 2021 - 2:42 am

I totally support your decision regarding vaccinations. Although question why Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands are excluded ❗️

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:18 pm

Hi Rhea, thanks for your support! Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands are currently very different operating environments to other countries. International borders, and many state borders, remain closed and there are extremely strict restrictions, including on travel in many places. We fully expect things will change later this year, as more people get vaccinated. As people are able to move around more easily, will then review our policy.

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X August 6, 2021 - 6:19 pm

Please UNSUBSCRIBE ME from all Intrepid communications.

I want nothing more now COVID Vaccines are Compulsory with you.

And also except for those 3 countries.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:18 pm

As requested, we have removed you from our mailing list.

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Bryan Lewis & Julie Hopper August 6, 2021 - 3:47 pm

A brilliant initiative, James you have our support!

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:18 pm

Great to hear, we appreciate your support!

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Lyn Allen August 6, 2021 - 1:21 pm

Vaccination policy should NOT exclude Australia ,NZ, and the Cook Islands. I was a GP for over 40 years and to suppress a pandemic everyone should be vaccinated !

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:19 pm

Hi Lyn. Thanks for your comments and we agree that everyone in the world needs access to vaccines in order to end the pandemic. At the moment, Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands are very different operating environments, due to international border closures, strict lockdowns and restrictions, including on travel. These countries are starting to ramp up their vaccination programs, more people are able to access vaccines and these countries open up more, we will review our policy.

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Jennifer August 6, 2021 - 8:11 am

Kindly remove me from your email list- jennysellshomes@yahoo.com

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:20 pm

Hi Jennifer, as requested, we have removed you from our mailing list.

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Anonymous August 6, 2021 - 7:32 am

Thank you so much for your vaccine policy. We truly appreciate it!
Donna McIntyre and Wayne Krull

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:20 pm

Thanks for your support, Donna and Wayne!

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Barbara s Schlefman August 6, 2021 - 4:49 am

I have tried to find out WHERE THERE ARE VACCINE TEAMS…I have vaccinated in 3 of my local counties. Retired doctor and full credentialed. I only want to be a volunteer. Can you send my information non to those organizations that can use my help. YES, I want to ge3t the whole world vaccinated. I am the trifecta…all 3..2 modernas, 2 pfizers, and one J&J. I do not want to get sick and I don’t think one can be over vaccinated. As a vaccinator I am VERY close to unvaccinate people.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:22 pm

Hi Barbara, thank you for wanting to give your time to help others. We suggest you contact your local health authorities to find out how you can help. Alternatively, you might like to donate to the Give the World a Shot fundraiser, which will help power the delivery of billions of vaccines globally.

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Rob Danin August 6, 2021 - 4:34 am

Are all of your in-country guides, drivers, etc. vaccinated now and into the future?

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:23 pm

Hi Rob. As of 1 September 2021, all Intrepid leaders leading a trip must be fully vaccinated (both doses of vaccine) at least 14 days before they travel on an Intrepid trip. We are working closely with our leaders and teams on the ground to support the rollout of vaccinations, however we can.

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Pat Taylor August 6, 2021 - 4:15 am

Start at home. Make vaccinations mandatory for Australians, New Zealanders and Cook Islanders travellers and guides too. In my youth no-one could travel to USA without a smallpox vaccination and it is now recommended we have many shots such as tetanus and hepatitis etc.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:24 pm

Hi Pat, thanks for support. You raise a very good point – vaccines have long been required for travel. For now, due to Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands being very different operating environments to other countries, due to international border closures, strict lockdowns and restrictions, including on travel, these countries are exempt from the policy. As more people get vaccinated in these countries and regulations change, we will review our approach.

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Alyssa August 6, 2021 - 3:46 am

Question– if we have a travel credit from a canceled trip due to covid, but are not planning on getting the vaccine (I have medical concerns and medication allergies that prevent me from doing so), what are my options? It’s my dream to go to Japan, but I’m not able to get the vaccine. So does that mean all of the funds I put into Intrepid for the trip are stuck in limbo, and does that mean I’ll never be able to travel with Intrepid?

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:24 pm

Hi Alyssa. If you are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons, you may be able to apply for a medical exemption. However, as you had booked before we introduced the policy, you can also get a full refund. We do hope you’re still able to visit Japan with us – please contact our reservations team if you need more information.

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Anonymous August 6, 2021 - 3:37 am

Thank you so much for leading the way to vaccinate all people in our world so we can again return to traveling, seeing and meeting these great individuals.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:24 pm

Thank you! We hope we can make a difference!

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William Nelson August 6, 2021 - 1:46 am

Bravo Mr. Thornton;

Your travel experiences echo ours in many ways. Albeit the motives you outline are somewhat more altruistic. Continued success.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:25 pm

Thank you for your support, William!

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Harriet August 6, 2021 - 12:01 am

You should check the injury and death stats on the current mRNA vaccines before advocating their expansion. India was doing very well to combat COVID using ivermectin last year, started their vax programme this year and covid cases skyrocketed. Now thankfully under control using ivermectin. These vaccines are still in phase 3 trials and are not fully approved. In earlier phases No testing was ever carried out on animals, pregnant women nor elderly with medical issues. The full truth will inevitably emerge as injuries increase.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:26 pm

Thanks for your message, Harriet. We take our information from trusted sources such as the World Health Organization, the U.S’s Center for Disease Control, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to inform our destination monitoring and our vaccination policy.

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Anonymous August 5, 2021 - 10:47 pm

Ever impressive Intrepid

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:26 pm

Thank you!

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Vanessa August 5, 2021 - 9:37 pm

$252.53 million in sales (USD) was intrepid sales precovid

$50,000 is an embarrassing figure for a company who’s whole business model is premised on traveling in developing countries.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:28 pm

Hi Vanessa, our not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation, has made this financial commitment to UNICEF Australia despite tourism being the hardest hit sector during the pandemic and travel companies not making any profits. Despite this, The Intrepid Foundation has donated a record amount of money in 2020, including emergency aid for people and wildlife who have lost all their incomes due to the halt on tourism. Intrepid continues to support the foundation by covering all admin costs and with marketing resources. We’re incredibly proud that we will be able to support the delivery of vaccines for tens of thousands of people around the world.

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Clare Hobday August 5, 2021 - 9:26 pm

What vaccines will you be accepting? In developing nations we are seeing a lot of vaccine elitism from developed nations. Most of the vaccines we have gotten access to are the Chinese Sinopharm, which are WHO approved, but which the EU will not accept. Some of us were lucky enough to received the AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX, but it’s “the wrong one” because it’s the Covishield that was produced in India.

We were all told that the best vaccine to take is the one that’s available to you, and undoubtedly that’s true for our well-being and preventing people from getting ill. But it’s frustrating that we then cannot get the freedom of travel with those vaccines.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:28 pm

Hi Clare, to keep it simple, we recognise any vaccine that has been authorised for use by the relevant national authority for COVID-19 in the country where the vaccine was administered. This includes (but is not limited to) vaccines such as Oxford AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNtech, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Covaxin.

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Steve August 5, 2021 - 8:52 pm

I struggle with a mandatory vaccine policy given that none of the current vaccines are approved for human use.
It is not mandatory to take part in a vaccine trial and I’m not sure of the legal implications

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:29 pm

Hi Steve, we understand the decision to take the vaccine is a personal choice. We believe this policy is the best way to keep our travellers, team members and local communities safe.

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No August 5, 2021 - 8:09 pm

Shame on you Intrepid supporting a health apartheid. My friend @georgiaroses (Instagram) was previously a fit and healthy 34 year old woman who has been left neurologically damaged by her second Pfizer jab. Georgia’s doctor has confirmed this. These jabs use an experimental mrna technology for which there is no long term data. I respect individual choice on this topic but I do not agree with mandating them. You won’t get a penny from me ever again

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:30 pm

We’re very sorry to hear about your friend’s situation and we understand you might not agree with our new policy. However, we believe this is the best way to keep our travellers, team members and local communities safe. We take our information from trusted sources, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Samuel Kamera August 5, 2021 - 8:07 pm

Thank you but West should look for poor countries like Malawi and other Southern countries in Africa.I have my family in Malawi I can’t travel they can’t visit me.We need to book hotel booking before flying.Please help these countries.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:32 pm

Hi Samuel, we hope you’ll be able to reunite with your family soon and we completely agree that everyone deserves access to vaccines, regardless of where they live. As a global business, with offices in 23 countries around the world, including in African countries, we know that isn’t currently the case. That’s why we’re supporting greater access to vaccines globally through The Intrepid Foundation’s Give the World a Shot campaign.  

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Rose Gordon August 5, 2021 - 6:15 pm

I would ask why are you not making it mandatory for ALL you tour leaders to be vaccinated? australia, NZ & Cook Island leaders should not be exempt. You are talking about equity. Australia should lead the way.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:32 pm

Hi Rose, thanks for your support. Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands are very different operating environments currently, due to international border closures, strict lockdowns and restrictions, including on travel. As more people get vaccinated in these countries and regulations change, we will certainly review our policy.

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Robyn Eastgate August 5, 2021 - 5:25 pm

Yes all the people of the world need access to immunisation.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:33 pm

Thank you, Robyn. We agree!

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Christine Butler August 5, 2021 - 2:25 pm

So good. Thanks.

Can’t wait to travel again and use my tourism dollars to help in those beautiful countries I’m yet to visit.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:33 pm

Wonderful, Christine! We can’t wait to welcome you back to those beautiful countries!

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TERESA MCMAHON August 5, 2021 - 1:56 pm

I love your goals and approach and will personally support the Give the World a Shot campaign. Why though is Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands excluded from the mandatory vaccination policy? As an Australian I absolutely support that these nations must be included in the mandatory policy.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:33 pm

Hi Teresa. Thank you so much for your support for the Give the World a Shot campaign! We really appreciate it. As you’ll know, Australia and New Zealand’s borders are closed, travel is extremely limited and lockdowns remain frequent. As more people get vaccinated in these countries, we expect things to open up more and we will review our policy to bring it in line with the rest of the world.

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Jo August 5, 2021 - 1:23 pm

May I ask why Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands excluded from needing a vaccine certificate? Maybe I haven’t understood the statement. Could you please explain. Our problem with travelling is getting a place in MIQ when we want to come back to NZ.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:34 pm

Hi Jo, the situation in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands is very different from other countries where we’re operating trips. This is due to international borders being closed, the frequent use of lockdowns and stringent restrictions, including on travel. We expect the situation to change in the future, as more people get vaccinated and we will review our policy in line with that.

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Alyson Smith August 5, 2021 - 1:06 pm

I support global vaccination equity because it is a basic human right and we need think locally and act globally to ensure our world remains safe for all.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:34 pm

Thank you, Alyson. We couldn’t agree more!

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Cheryl August 5, 2021 - 11:58 am

Bravo. This is a really good initiative in such a difficult time worldwide.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:34 pm

Thanks, Cheryl! We’re proud to be able to do our part to support vaccine equity.

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David Osborne August 5, 2021 - 11:51 am

Well written James and well done Intrepid!
But why not extend the vaccine mandate to Australia, NZ and the Cook Islands (just look at Fiji at the moment)?

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:35 pm

Hi David, thanks for support! Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands are very different operating environments currently, due to international border closures, strict lockdowns and restrictions, which limit or ban travel. As more people get vaccinated in these countries and the landscape changes, we will certainly review our policy. While vaccination is not mandated for tours in those countries, we strongly encourage all our travellers to be vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible and able to.

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Nat Styles August 5, 2021 - 11:40 am

What a great initiative. I have a credit with intrepid, can I donate that to this cause? Can’t wait to explore the world again!

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:35 pm

Hi Nat, that’s so generous of you! Please contact our reservations team to make arrangements for your credit donation. Thank you for helping us to support vaccine equity around the globe!

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Claire Jones August 5, 2021 - 11:27 am

Bravo! I’m glad to see real time social responsibility being undertaking and also ensuring that all travelers also take a personal responsibility to be vaccinated.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:35 pm

Thanks, Claire! We agree that it is all our personal responsibility to protect the communities we visit, and to support vaccine equity globally.

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Carol Groufsky August 5, 2021 - 11:13 am

Glad to hear you are making vaccinations mandatory.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:36 pm

Thank you, Carol!

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Shanta Perera August 5, 2021 - 11:10 am

Hi All at Intrepid.
I fully support this letter. Grest initiative …..An open letter from Intrepid Travel’s CEO: For travel to return, we need global vaccine equity….

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:36 pm

Thanks for your support, Shanta!

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Laura Colbenson August 5, 2021 - 7:41 am

How can I volunteer my time to help with vaccinations? I am a RN at Mayo Clinic and worked their vaccine clinics for 6 months.

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Liz August 8, 2021 - 5:37 am

Great initiative but appalling discrimination towards travellers from low income countries who have not yet had access to the vaccine.

The implication is patronising and offensive to assume that people living in low income countries are not wanting to join your tours.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:39 pm

Hi Liz. Thanks for your concern, you raise a very good point. Like you, we’re very concerned about people in low income countries not having access to vaccines. That’s why we’ve partnered with UNICEF Australia to help deliver billions of vaccines all around the world. The Give the World a Shot fundraiser will help increase access to vaccines in communities globally.

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Intrepid Travel August 11, 2021 - 1:37 pm

Hi Laura, thank you for wanting to give your time and skills to help others. You’ll need to contact your local health authority directly to find the best way to volunteer.

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