Intrepid acquires Australian tour operator

Intrepid Travel acquires Australian tour operator to bolster its global DMC network


  • Announces acquisition of majority shareholding in outdoor tourism specialist JOOB
  • Marks fourth business acquisition for Intrepid in past 12 months

  • Adds new operational bases across Australia and strengthens DMC capabilities

  • 30+ additional tours, expanding Intrepid’s range to 96 trips in Australia

Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company, has acquired a majority shareholding in Australian adventure tourism business and destination management company (DMC) JOOB (Jump Out Of Bed). This is the latest in a series of recent acquisitions, aimed at fuelling growth and further strengthening Intrepid’s global operational capability and DMC network.

Perth-based JOOB runs trips in every Australian state and territory (except Australian Capital Territory) with depots in locations such as Perth, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Hobart and Melbourne, among others. It also operates seasonally out of Darwin and Cairns.

JOOB is made up of three brands – walking company Inspiration Outdoors, adventure tour specialist Waratah Adventure Tours and Perth kayaking business Sea Kayak Rottnest Island. Together they offer guided tours in Australia’s most iconic nature-based tourism destinations.

The JOOB acquisition will rapidly bolster the growth of Intrepid’s DMC in Australia, which was set up in 2021 to respond to the growing demand for local travel, and support Intrepid’s vertical integration structure. Under the deal, JOOB CEO Simon Mendelawitz will join Intrepid as General Manager of its Australian DMC.

Intrepid’s acquisitions in the past 12 months, includes a majority stake in Haka Tours and ANZ Nature Tours in New Zealand, specialists in nature-based and cultural tours, and Wildland Trekking in the US, which operates low-impact, eco-conscious guided treks in iconic wilderness areas and national parks. These businesses complement and further strengthen Intrepid’s global offering via its existing DMCs in 26 countries. These DMCs operate the majority of Intrepid’s trips, as well as itineraries for other leading travel brands. Intrepid has also invested in sustainable accommodation business, CABN.

In Australia, Intrepid has grown its range by 45 per cent since 2019 and offers 66 trips, in all states and territories (expect ATC). These have a strong focus on active and outdoor experiences such as walking, trekking and cycling and First Nations inclusions. Intrepid’s three most popular itineraries in Australia reflect this – Uluru & Kings Canyon; Kakadu, Katherine & Litchfield Adventure and Trek the Larapinta Trail – all in the remote Northern Territory.

“We’ve built exceptional global operational capability over the years and Intrepid’s vertical integration has been a core part of our strategy. However, the missing piece has been our own DMC in Australia. JOOB completes the puzzle,” says James Thornton, Intrepid Travel CEO. “I’m delighted to welcome Simon and the JOOB team to Intrepid. Together, we will develop even more exceptional trips for our own customers, as well as other leading travel brands, taking more travellers to the most remarkable and rugged parts of Australia,” adds Thornton.

“At JOOB, we believe adventure, giving back to communities and having some fun along the way are all important and that’s why we’re such a perfect fit for Intrepid. We bring decades of operational experience and know-how in Australia – a vast and operationally complex country – I’m incredibly excited to join the team and to continue to build exceptional adventures together,” says Simon Mendelawitz, JOOB CEO.

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