Less than two months after launching a global vaccine equity campaign, Intrepid Travel has reached its fundraising goal to help fund the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations in lower-income destinations – and the company is now increasing its ambition to raise more funds to help end the pandemic.
Through its philanthropic arm The Intrepid Foundation, the tour operator had committed to raise $100,000 AUD for UNICEF’s Vaccinaid: Give The World A Shot appeal. To date, the fundraising campaign has raised over $105,000 AUD. These much-needed funds help UNICEF to deliver vaccines in low-income countries. The funds Intrepid has raised so far will allow more than 20,000 people to be fully vaccinated.
In addition to fundraising, Intrepid Travel has supported education and access to vaccines in other ways.
These efforts have resulted in an impressive 91% of Intrepid tour leaders across six continents receiving their first vaccine and 75% being fully vaccinated.
The company’s initiatives include:
- Introduced paid vaccination leave for all office-based permanent staff globally, allowing them to get their vaccine as soon as they can
- Provided on-the-ground resources in Peru, including free transportation to a vaccination hub for trekking porters and their families in Cuzco. Intrepid’s Deputy Operations Manager also successfully advocated for a new site to be opened closer to the local communities where many porters live, in Calca.
- Supported education sessions for office-based staff and tour leaders with a member of the World Health Organization’s technical advisory committee and the International Society of Infectious Diseases to help ease vaccine hesitancy in Sri Lanka. Only a few tour leaders had been vaccinated before the sessions despite their eligibility, but that number has now increased by 700%.
“While there is encouraging progress being made with vaccination rates, the global pandemic is far from over. The entire travel industry must continue to step up to acknowledge and act on the current inequalities around global access to COVID-19 vaccines,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel. “Our customers, people, and the communities we visit around the world deserve a safe return to travel.”
One hundred percent of donations made via The Intrepid Foundation go to UNICEF Australia’s Give the World a Shot appeal to support the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged countries around the world.
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