TORONTO — The Intrepid Group has reported a record growth of 45% in its private group and FIT sales in 2016. This represents the fastest growing segment of the business that has been fuelled largely by travel agents across Canada.
The groups department services travellers and agents looking for private departures and customizable trips. The growth in the Canadian industry has been over 50% as of June 2016, leading to two new hires on both the west and east coast to better service the demand. Travel agents stand to reap the biggest benefits as more consumers start seeking FIT travel. Unlike other operators who primarily offer private versions of existing itineraries, Intrepid is able to create completely customizable trips for clients with very specific travel plans or special interests.
“The growth of adventure travel has had an incredible domino effect on private and custom tours” says Connor Frey, Private Groups Manager for the Intrepid Group in North America. “The value-add this brings for clients and strong earning potential for agents have really been the two driving forces in this space.”
Canadian Universities have already seen the benefit in FIT travel. University programs such as Ryerson Hospitality & Tourism in Toronto have developed a course in their curriculum through Intrepid Travel. In the fall, students will visit Cuba for the second year in a row to learn about the current tourism landscape and, in return, receive a credit. In Quebec, Sherbrooke University’s biology program recently organized an educational tour of the Galapagos Islands.
The Private Groups team is now working with Flight Centre Canada on its September charity trip to Thailand, which will focus on supporting the Asian Elephants. The team is also working on a custom Star Wars themed tour in the Middle East, several corporate retreats and large family reunions.
Agents who are looking for more information on Intrepid private groups and FIT travel in over 100 countries can visit intrepidtravel.com/privategroups.