Friday, 3 Jul 2020

Tour operator Intrepid cancels all trips through September

Citing uncertainty about when the Covid-19 pandemic will
ease enough for borders to reopen, Intrepid Travel has suspended all trips
through September.

The company announced the extended closure in a letter from
CEO James Thornton,
in which he also asked customers to take a 110% future travel credit instead of
a refund to help support the company and its sustainability mission.

On each trip the company runs, he said, the company makes
just a 4% profit. The other 96% goes to staff and suppliers around the globe.

“When we sell a trip for $2,000, we make around $80,” he
wrote. “And we put an enormous chunk of that 4% profit back into community and
environmental projects around the world that help improve livelihoods and work
towards safeguarding this planet for future generations.”

Thornton said suspensions between March and May alone led to
35,000 cancellations. Opting for credits over refunds “will help us plan for
the future, it will help us employ countless numbers of people both in our
offices and destinations, and it will enable us to offer you the best service
and trips imaginable when the world opens up again.”

Still, he emphasized that Intrepid won’t deny refunds.

“We understand that some of our customers have also lost
jobs and income as a result of the pandemic and a credit simply won’t cut it,”
he said. “We are not denying those people refunds, and their wellbeing is
extremely important to us.”

Those customers who can afford to take a credit, however,
will be “making a down payment on the kind of world you want to see when the
worst of this coronavirus epidemic has passed.”

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