Ethical Marketing Update

How Intrepid Travel is tracking towards our 2023 ethical marketing goals


We are in our second full year of ethical marketing guidelines. For those who haven’t been following, this has been a critically important initiative for Intrepid to create more rigor and public accountability around improving DEI, transparency, ethics and openness across our global marketing.  

Every year, we spend tens of millions of dollars on marketing. How we choose to spend that money has a profound impact on the industry and has the ability to create positive change if invested in the right places. Whether that means improving diversity, equity and inclusion in our imagery, press and creator trips, or exercising more discipline in our digital media and marketing supply chain. 

Since the inception of the ethical marketing guidelines in late 2021, we have maintained 5 core commitments. However, earlier this year when I shared our 2022 results and how the guidelines would evolve in 2023, I mentioned we’d be increasing our overall success metrics from 23 to 25, as well as updating a few areas we felt needed more context and investment to make an impact.  

Today, I will share an update on how that is progressing, and our plan of action for the rest of year. 

Commitment 1: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (achieved 9/14 targets)  

Summary: Our tracker shows that we have reached nearly all targets related to content creator partnerships, apart from Indigenous creators which is tracking slightly behind. On our owned social media channels, we have reached our targets for amplifying Indigenous voices and host communities but are tracking slightly behind in terms of representation of plus-sized travelers. On the blog front, the main area needing improvement is commissioned stories by BIPOC and LGBTQ+ writers. We have already taken steps to address these gaps in the coming months by diversifying our creator network and expanding our relationships. 

Commitment 2: Openness and transparency (achieved 3/3 targets)  

Summary: We published our 2023 annual report back in March, and this ethical marketing update is our 2nd piece of work. The 3rd report is a climate progress update around our decarbonization efforts and science-based targets.  

Commitment 3: Reject neocolonialism (achieved 2/3 targets)  

Summary: For our third commitment, the only target tracking slightly behind is around “first-person social media stories from the host perspective.” This is an important one for us because it helps create a culture within our marketing team that recognizes that destinations around the world do not simply exist to serve tourists. It should be an exchange, rather than an extraction. We benchmark this on social media, aiming for at least 20% of our stories to be told through a host lens. We are currently at 18% and will assuredly reach this target by the year's end.  

Commitment 4: Sense of belonging (no specific targets)  

Summary: This commitment is all about creating community guidelines that foster inclusivity and acceptance. We continue to ensure that our platforms are safe and inclusive of perspectives, experiences and opinions. We will continue monitoring these channels closely to uphold our zero-tolerance policy for hate speech and misinformation.  

Commitment 5: Ethical digital marketing (achieved 3/3 targets) 

On the digital front, we are fully aligned with the highest standards of data and privacy outlined in our guidelines, including 100% compliance with Google’s webmaster regulations, 100% compliance with regional data and privacy regulations, and maintaining a 48-hour response time to concerns related to data or security.  

Learn more about our Ethical Marketing Guidelines

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