Break down the cultural barriers of traditional tourism with our new range of all-female adventures.
We believe travel is for everyone. But in some more conservative countries, there are things mixed-gender groups just can’t do. What if, as a female traveller in Iran, you could head down to the beauty salon with your female leader and get your hair done? The hijab comes off, the conversation is lively, the music is on, and there’s a real chance to connect. You might even discover that these women are no different to you, your sister, your mother or your wife. This limited-edition series of expeditions is all about breaking down barriers, fostering discussion and creating immersive local experiences for women that are ordinarily off limits on our regular group departures.
Our new Women's Expeditions
Our wider mission for gender equality
Diversity and inclusion has always been at the forefront of everything we do. Here at Intrepid Travel, we know our strength comes through our differences and the freedom everyone has to be themselves – locals, leaders and travellers alike.
Around 65% of Intrepid travellers are female, and 60% of our staff around the world are women, but in 2017 only 22% of our leaders were female.This is something we have been working to change.
Our goal is to double the number of female leaders globally by 2020. While this may not be a difficult target in many countries, in traditional societies such as India recruiting women is a much greater challenge. In 2017 the Intrepid Group gained 50 new female tour leaders, and managed to raise our overall percentage of female leaders from 22% to 27%.
There’s still a long way to go, but we’re continuing to promote women’s independence and women’s employment, and fostering greater understanding by offering trips such as our Women’s Expeditions.
Cultural and religious factors mean that local interaction is challenging and complex for mixed gender groups. It’s something that comes up continually in our customer’s feedback for the Middle East region. Desert camps in Wadi Rum, for example, are operated by men. In these close confines it’s not socially acceptable for men to be alone with our female travellers, so the opportunities for interaction are limited. By the same token, most opportunities our group tours have to spend time with local women is in the presence of men in a controlled environment. We see these trips as an exciting opportunity for female travellers go behind closed doors and learn about customs, food, challenges and the lives of other women across the globe.
These are certainly off-track trips, but what sets them apart is cultural, not geographical. In traditionally conservative countries such as Iran, Morocco and Jordan, certain traditions and customs can make genuine cultural interaction difficult. Travelling in an all-female group means women can connect more directly with each other, and travellers can learn more about Middle Eastern women and their day-to-day lives. What these trips are not about is replicating run-of-the-mill itineraries for women-only ‘girls clubs’ which fuel gender stereotypes and exclusivity.
We chose Jordan, Iran and Morocco because there are a lot of cultural and religious factors that make these countries more complex and therefore the benefit of local interaction is greater. It’s also about the laws in these parts and what is and isn’t acceptable. We’re testing the waters at the moment, but we’re hoping we can expand our range of female-only trips and make them permanent in the long term.
We would love to open up these real-life experiences to all of our travellers, but in order to operate in a socially responsible and culturally sensitive manner this is simply not possible – at least not yet. So rather than excluding everyone from this opportunity, we’ve created a range of special departures for our female travellers.
Private departures of our female-only trips are definitely possible. Feel free to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you’re after, and we’ll to our best to accommodate your needs.
Like all of our trips, these expeditions are operated with inclusion in mind. But we’re restricted to operating within local laws in some places, which may be exclusionary to passengers who identify as transgender or non-binary. Travellers should contact our bookings team for more information and to see where we can accommodate transgender or non-binary.