Tour operator Intrepid cancels all trips through September

A guided hike in Yosemite National Park.
A guided hike in Yosemite National Park. Photo Credit: Intrepid Travel

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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