Over the past few weeks the Intrepid Group has been making news with successive announcements of new adventure travel products becoming available to travel agents in the Canadian market.
Geckos Adventures, and Peregrine Adventures, formerly represented in Canada through the Adventure Center, now operate independently as part of the Intrepid Group and are available to the trade directly, following the closure of Adventure Center’s offices at the beginning of August.
The Intrepid Group also represents Intrepid Travel and Urban Adventures.
PAXnewsWest caught up with Intrepid Group Canada president Steven Larkin to hear more about all the changes, and clarification on the brand differentiations.
“The rationale behind the transformation of Adventure Center is to allow the Intrepid Group brands a space and a voice in the market- we just see it as an opportunity for growth,” Larkin said.
Larkin also explained the differences between the Geckos and Peregrine brands.
"The Geckos style of travel is suited specifically for travellers in their 20s and 30s, and these adventures are escorted, allowing for a good deal of free time, and Peregrine Adventures are geared toward the boomer market, with accommodations pushing into the four-star range, and it’s all private transportation, high- level guides and lots of local interaction in each destination,” Larkin said.
Larkin added that Peregrine Adventures move at a slower pace, spending two to three nights in each city, as opposed to classic Intrepid trips, which often to move from destination to destination on a daily basis.
“These [Peregrine] trips are designed for the more seasoned traveller, who may have already been to Thailand, Peru and Indochina, and are now looking for that next big adventure,” he said.
The first direct Peregrine Adventure booking made in the Canadian market was to North Korea, which Larkin said is a good example of the kind of destination this brand specializes in.
“This is how we’re carving out Peregrine- to the older, more affluent clientele who are looking for adventure, and we also have reserve product that is a true, five star plus experience,” Larkin said.
“We wanted to create almost like ‘buckets’ with these products so agents can easily identify what would appeal to a particular client, so Peregrine is [for] 50 plus, affluent and well travelled and Geckos is for the youth traveller on a budget, so it has less inclusions,” he added.
Larkin said the best way for travel agents to access these products is to contact the Intrepid Group directly.
Larkin said that one call gets travel agents access to Peregrine, Geckos and Intrepid, and representatives are available to explain the product range, and what kind of product speaks best to each client.
“Peregrine Adventures were formerly available in Canada, but always wrapped under the Adventure Center umbrella- so this is the first time we’ve actually taken the Peregrine brand out to the market, and the benefit now, to the Western market, that we have two BDM’s servicing Western Canada.”
For more information, go to intrepidtravel.com/ca.