With great knowledge comes great responsibility
To support our efforts as a responsible business and evaluate our impacts on the destinations in which we travel, we have provided support for academic research in key areas. We also provide transparent reporting on our own business activities each year and work with universally recognised bodies to advocate for change.
The 2019 Integrated Annual Report
We recognise the more we grow, the more we can deliver on that commitment, as a multi-brand global business. We call this Growth with Purpose, as we believe the two are inextricably linked.
That’s why, we’ve combined our sustainability reporting with our financial results, to show how being a responsible business can not only result in short-term, but long-term value for our stakeholders.
The report brings together our annual report and our ninth Communication on Progress Report for the United Nations Global Compact the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, of which we’ve been a signatory since 2008. It provides our stakeholders with full accountability and visibility of our worldwide business operations, and includes both our performance and vision in the following areas:
- Our external environment
- Responsible business practices
- Financial performance
- Customer satisfaction
- Employee engagement
- Employee wellbeing
- Our relationship with the communities we operate in
- Corporate governance
As the world’s largest adventure travel company, we feel a responsibility to make a real difference to the communities and places in which we operate. Our 2019 Integrated Annual Report proves that there doesn’t need to be a choice between this purpose and profitability either.
The UN Global Compact
Intrepid is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) – a framework used to align a company’s operations and strategies with universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
In order for sustainability to remain embedded in our operations, we take a holistic view of our business and its various points of impact. This means looking beyond our balance sheet to the areas intrinsically linked to our business: the environment, society, economy and governance/ethics. We want to ensure that we're taking responsibility for our impact in these areas and contributing to, rather than diminishing, their health and value.
Community-based tourism research in Peru
Intrepid Travel has recently worked with community-based tourism researcher David Knight to explore the impacts and benefits of tourism among four communities in Peru’s Sacred Valley. With funding support from Intrepid, David Knight worked with community tourism groups to better understand how to unlock opportunities for local people through sustainable tourism. The report, entitled ‘Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism’, detailed several findings and recommendations drawn from a series of community interviews, including:
- Enhanced opportunities for women in the communities, through visits by Intrepid Travel groups (increased income, employment, and respect from their husbands).
- Greater community involvement in training of tour leaders.
- Improved communication between communities and our local offices.
- Awareness of the rising cost of providing services to travellers and an ability to adjust prices accordingly.
Recommendations from his research have been implemented by our operations team in Peru.
Download the full report below.
Peru Research Summary, David W Knight
Peru Research Literature List, David W Knight
Chichubamba, Peru Research Report, David W Knight
Amaru, Peru Research Report, David W Knight
Sacaca, Peru Research Report, David W Knight
Qorqor, Peru Research Report, David W Knight
Victoria University research partnership
Intrepid Travel, in association with Victoria University and the Australian government body AusIndustry, completed a two-year research project to assess the impacts of our trips on sensitive rural communities titled ‘Small Tour Group Impacts On Developing Communities’. The comparative report on five village communities (in Thailand, Vietnam and Borneo) demonstrates that Intrepid trips are providing mixed outcomes for local people in these communities.
Some of these outcomes include:
- Renewal or support of traditional practices, such as arts and crafts, through local initiatives like craft markets.
- Empowerment of women due to employment and leadership opportunities created by Intrepid's visits.
- Increased knowledge and awareness of other cultures among local people due to direct and meaningful interactions between local people and Intrepid tour groups.
- Support of household livelihood strategies through financial benefits gained by activities associated with Intrepid's visits
- Direct employment opportunities for some members of the community through activities such as traditional massage, guiding, portering and cooking
As part of its commitment to providing leadership on sustainable tourism practices, Intrepid has decided to make this report available to the general public. This report was completed in 2002, but we believe the issues and the recommendations remain current and relevant to remote community based tourism.
Download the full report below.
Introduction [PDF 26KB]
Research Design & Methods [PDF 32KB]
Literature Review [PDF 64KB]
Skandis Community, Iban Longhouse in Sarawak, Malaysia [PDF 89KB]
Kiau Nulu Community, Dusun Community in Sabah, Malaysia [PDF 88KB]
Van Village Community, White Thai Village in North Western Vietnam [PDF 92KB]
Baka Community, Akha Village in Northen Thailand [PDF 92KB]
Khun Puai Community, Karen Village in Northen Thailand [PDF 96KB]
Comparative review of case studies [PDF 80KB]
See our other responsible travel policies