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Image: Tawesna tea house in Aït Benhaddou, Morocco offers local women a living wage. | Shu Lin/Intrepid Travel
To provide experiences that enrich destination communities and travelers alike, the new initiatives span 16 countries and include activities such as meals at local establishments supporting women, migrants and seniors; and immersive tours that preserve the legacies of indigenous and ethnic minorities.
Intrepid Travel, the B Corp-certified tour operator with a mission to create positive change through the joy of travel, added 22 new “impact initiatives” to its itineraries in 2022. The company defines these as activities that directly support the environment or wildlife conservation, preserve Indigenous culture or support marginalized social groups — expanding an already robust portfolio of sustainable and ethical travel experiences around the world.
Recent research shows that travelers increasingly want their trips to have a positive impact. A Travel Trend Report 2022 by
states that travelers are more willing than ever to “go big” on their next trip, wringing every bit of richness and meaning out of their experiences. While
Booking.com‘s Sustainable travel report 2021
revealed that 84 percent of travelers believe increasing cultural understanding and preserving cultural heritage is crucial, and 69 percent of travelers will actively avoid popular destinations and attractions to reduce over-tourism and ensure they do their part to protect the environment. positive benefits of traveling to less frequently visited destinations and communities.
Intrepid is one of the travel providers at the forefront of the trend towards more conscientious tourism – introducing more than 40 low-carbon travel options and a global vaccine equity campaign by 2021. Most of Intrepid’s top travel already includes ‘impact initiatives’ – the company says the addition of 22 more in 2022 is testament to its continued commitment to organizing journeys that give back to both people and the planet. Airbnb has also worked to increase community enrichment through its operations – the company partnered with UNESCO in 2021 to promote less traveled experiences and itineraries that engage and benefit host destinations and communities as well as travelers.
Examples of Intrepid Travel’s new ‘impact initiatives’ for 2022 include:
Authentic teahouse experience in Morocco supporting local women — Intrepid Travelers on the Company’s 13 Day Morocco discovered,
10 days South Morocco Discovery, 15 days Premium Morocco Floor
and 12 days Premium Morocco Explorer
tours will visit Tawesna — a community-run tea house on the river in Ait Benhaddou that gives local women a living income. The women use natural ingredients sourced from local co-operatives to prepare teas and pastries, take pride in sharing their stories and giving visitors an authentic experience. Amazigh
Carbon neutral whale watching in Iceland — On Intrepid Travel’s Premium Iceland
tour, travelers will board a carbon neutral electric boat to spot minke and humpback whales with an expert whale watching guide. The silent boat maintains a respectful distance from the whales so that visitors can observe them in their natural environment without disturbing them.
Paper Crafts Course to Support the Local Deaf and Mute Community in Hue, Vietnam — During Intrepid’s Family Vacation in Vietnam, travelers will visit a local NGO that supports Hue’s deaf and mute community through training, employment, support, and a place to connect with others. Here, visitors meet members of the community and take part in a traditional paper flower-making course – a fun and interesting way to interact with the hosts without exchanging words.
Treats at a cross-generational cafe in Vienna — On Intrepid’s 15 Days The best of Central Europe
trip – which visits? Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland
and Slovakia – travelers enjoy coffee and cake (coffee and cake) at Full board – aka “Granny’s Public Living Room” – a cross-generational cafe in
Vienna whose mission is to create meeting and learning areas for new forms of collaboration and togetherness between generations, and to support seniors on their way out of financial poverty and loneliness.
Heritage Tour in South Dakota to Preserve the Legacy of the Lakota Community – Visit the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation touring the Heritage Center with a local expert Lakota guide about Intrepid’s new Stay at South Dakota Lodge. One of the first cultural centers and museums in a reserve, the Heritage Center helps Lakota artists preserve their artistic heritage, improve their economic situation and share their traditional arts and crafts with the world. Travelers will also enjoy lunch at a Lakota restaurant that specializes in traditional dishes.
“The tourism industry is at a pivotal moment with the gradual resumption of travel. Companies like ours have a great opportunity, not to mention a responsibility, to find more ways to positively contribute to the places and people we visit,” said Erica Kritikides, Senior Product Manager at Intrepid Travel. “Intrepid’s sustainable, experiential way of traveling enables people of all nationalities and backgrounds to connect through immersive, hands-on experiences. By becoming more aware of the experiences we offer our travelers, together we can make a greater positive impact in our shared world.”