From l-r: Dave and Mel Reynolds of RAW Travel, and James Thornton, Intrepid Group’s CEO

Intrepid takes 40% stake in Australian-based walking tours operator

TORONTO — Intrepid has acquired a 40% stake in Australian-owned RAW Travel, a leader in tailor-made and self-guided walking adventures.

As part of the deal, Intrepid co-founder Darrell Wade will join the RAW Travel board. RAW will remain independent of the Intrepid Group, with co-founders Dave and Mel Reynolds continuing to have complete autonomy in day-to-day operations.

According to Intrepid CEO James Thornton, the investment recognizes the growing demand for active adventures from eco-conscious travellers.

“Today, more than ever before, travellers are seeking trips that inspire, challenge and have a positive impact on the environment and on communities,” he said. “We’ve seen huge growth in walking adventures globally, and best of all they have a super low carbon footprint. RAW Travel are the market leaders in that space.”

Thornton added that Intrepid’s and RAW’s shared values were what sealed the deal. Like Intrepid, RAW is carbon-neutral and recently became a certified B Corp, joining Intrepid and more than 2,800 businesses around the world that are committed to being a force for good.

Dave Reynolds, who worked for Intrepid for five years before founding RAW Travel in 2006, added: “I am genuinely thrilled to be partnering with Intrepid given our shared values and belief in sustainable, experience-rich travel. It feels like I’ve come full circle to be working again with the people who I first started out with in the industry. These are the people I trust the most and I couldn’t ask for a better fit for our business.”

RAW Travel is Intrepid’s second investment since its original founders bought back the business in order to grow the market for sustainable experience-rich travel. Now the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, Intrepid has seen three consecutive years of record results since returning to independent ownership, and has seen 16% growth in 2019 to date.

The new partnership is effective immediately.

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