Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) Adventure Champions are the vanguards of the adventure travel industry having been members of ATTA and leaders in the community for a minimum of 15 years. They are true believers in the power of adventure travel and have made an impact on the direction of ATTA and on the industry as a whole. To honor their commitment to their ethos and lasting contribution to the adventure travel industry we are spotlighting Adventure Champions through a series of interviews.
ATTA Member since 2005
Introducing Geoff Manchester, Co-Founder & Director
Tell us about Intrepid Travel: Intrepid is a tour operator with a difference. Not only do we sell our small group tours to 120 countries, we actually operate the vast majority of these trips ourselves. So your group leader is an Intrepid team member.
At Intrepid, we believe that travel can be a genuine force for good. That’s why we’re committed to giving back to the people and places we visit, and empowering our travelers to do the same. Our vision is to Change the Way People See the World.
Why have you stayed an ATTA member for 15+ years?
The adventure travel industry consists of many small businesses and organisations. The ATTA is an important voice for our industry, giving us the opportunity to speak with some strength. It also works as a connector, bringing us together and creating a community.
The ATTA is important in leading discussion and learning around important topics, especially around sustainability.
How has your company changed over the last 15 years?
Over the last 15 years, Intrepid Travel has experienced the value and importance of having a Purpose Beyond Profit. We have led the industry in many areas of sustainability, such as ceasing to offer elephant riding, becoming carbon neutral, and qualifying to become a B Corp. All our purposeful activities benefit the company in the long run and just the time and expense invested.
What is the greatest force that drives you to work every day?
For me, the greatest contribution of Intrepid and our industry is the understanding we develop between peoples of differing cultures. Travelers benefit so much from learning from and experiencing new cultures. It enables them to be more open-minded and accepting of difference. This must contribute to better relationships between countries.
What gives you hope about the next generation of adventure travel leaders?
Younger leaders in adventure travel are going to understand the threats we face from climate change and lack of sustainability. I believe they will be much more proactive in ensuring our industry takes the right path to ensure it becomes regenerative, that is contributing and improving the places we visit and the lives of the people in those places.
What is your advice for young adventure travel companies?
The distribution of your product is really important. No matter how good your offering is on the ground, if you do not have good distribution you do not have a long-term, growing company. Ensure your sales come from a range of geographic areas and come from a range of sources, such as industry, direct, web, etc.
What gets you excited about the future of adventure travel?
Travel is becoming more and more a regular part of peoples lives, not just a once or twice in a lifetime event. And as people travel more they look less for sightseeing and more for experiences, both physical and cultural. This is moving demand to our sector of the industry.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
While COVID-19 is decimating the travel industry right now, we do need to acknowledge that climate change is a much larger issue, that this industry contributes to global warming and that we must do our part to reduce carbon consumption within our offerings and mitigate the effects wherever we can.