Intrepid Travel Co-founder Darrell Wade has appointed a young successor to take over the role of Chief Executive Officer as part the company’s long-term vision to grow sustainable tourism.
Thirty-five year-old MD James Thornton will become the first non-founding CEO of the Intrepid Group, which employs 1600 staff in 27 offices and is now the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences.
Darrell Wade will become Executive Chair of the company, which began as Intrepid Travel in 1989 and has grown to become a global multi-brand business that now takes 300,000 travellers to more than 100 countries each year. The Group now includes leading travel brands Intrepid Travel, Geckos Adventures, Peregrine Adventures, Adventure Tours Australia, Urban Adventures, 19 destination management companies, and not-for-profit The Intrepid Foundation.
The appointment comes 20 months after Wade and Co-Founder Geoff Manchester split from a partnership with TUI and bought back Intrepid Travel, along with the rest of the Group. Intrepid has been celebrating record sales since the split, up 15% across the group. Newly independent Intrepid has also moved to new offices in Melbourne and London, paid company-wide bonuses, and raised more than $1 million AUD for charities.
“The growth that James has helped the business to achieve over the past 20 months reassured us that we have a sustainable future ahead – that purpose beyond profit can be profitable,” says Darrell Wade, Co-founder and Executive Chair of the Intrepid Group.
Intrepid Co-founder and owner Geoff Manchester remains as Chair of the group’s not-for-profit, The Intrepid Foundation.