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Monday, October 25, 2021

Intrepid Travel gets into beds with launch of Drifter




Asia-Pacific’s first hybrid hotel network targets millennial market


Intrepid Travel, the world’s largest adventure travel company, has today announced ambitious plans to diversify into a new vertical – accommodation – through a joint venture with Drifter Hospitality Group.

This marks Intrepid Travel’s first move into the accommodation market. Pre-pandemic, the company carried 470,000 customers in 2019, booking more than one million hotel nights a year.

Drifter Hospitality Group is raising a fund of initially A$75m to acquire and reposition hotels across Australia and New Zealand with the objective to grow the portfolio to A$500m over time. Drifter Hospitality Group was established by Ryan Sanders as CEO with Hugh Stephenson and Joshua Hunt as Co-founders. Intrepid Travel is a 50/50 joint venture partner with Drifter and the cornerstone investor in the fund, which launches publicly this week.

In a clear signal of intent in the accommodation sector, Intrepid Travel has created a new hotels division led by former Managing Director APAC Sarah Clark. Brett Mitchell, Intrepid’s Chief Sales Officer, has stepped in to oversee the APAC region under his global role, as a part of the move.

Intrepid Travel and Drifter’s portfolio of sustainable owner-operated premium hybrid hotels will be located in prime urban locations. There will initially be eight hotels across Australia and New Zealand in the next three years, growing to 15 properties by 2025. The group’s first new hotels will open in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in 2022, and positioned ‘Drifter – an Intrepid Hotel’. There are plans to secure an East Coast Australia asset in 2022.

The group plans to take the concept globally, with targeted assets being a combination of repositioned hotels, hostels, re-purposed commercial sites and new builds.

Hybrid hotels offer flexible room options (including private suites and shared rooms), located in popular city neighbourhoods with exciting communal areas and unique cultural and dining offerings. The concept is popular with millennials, who increasingly seek experiential accommodation. Research in 2019 by commercial real estate company CBRE found that millennials are likely to spend more on hotels that Baby Boomers or Gen X, but that they seek transformational and shareable experiences, such as the ones offered by the hybrid hotel concept.

“We’ve long recognised the potential to bring our knowledge of sustainable experience-rich travel and the international tourism market – particularly solo and millennial travellers – to the hotel sector,” said Intrepid Travel CEO, James Thornton. “With Drifter, we’ll create truly unique hotels that travellers will love and the opportunity to grow across the region is profound,” he adds.

“I’m thrilled that we’re partnering with Intrepid Travel, with their decades of experience in international tourism and their global leadership in sustainable travel, along with their operational expertise and brand strength,” added Ryan Sanders, Drifter CEO.

Intrepid Travel’s newly appointed Managing Director Hotels, Sarah Clark said the hybrid hotel concept will offer local and international guests a new type of experiential hotel stay.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be expanding into the accommodation vertical, with Drifter being our first launch partnership,” said Clark. “We’ll offer high-quality, unique accommodation and sustainable experiences in the heart of buzzing urban CBDs and neighbourhoods. With travel reopening, people looking to reconnect, and the opportunity presented with city real estate, it’s the perfect moment to embark on this expansion phase,” she added.

Intrepid Travel will bring its expertise in decarbonisation to ensure the highest standards of sustainability across the hotel group. The properties will be carbon neutral and sustainable practices will be implemented across design, services, amenities, utilities and wider operational practices.

Over the past 32 years, Intrepid has grown from one of Australia’s most successful travel companies into an internationally recognised travel brand. Fast Company named Intrepid as one of the Most Innovative Companies in 2021 and the company’s 2020 annual report is available here.

 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Diving returns to Queensland's Fitzroy Island


Island diving has returned to Fitzroy Island Resort on the Great Barrier Reef in Tropical North Queensland with the opening of the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub (FISH) and its dedicated dive pool.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Australian regions set to boom from a domestic tourism recovery




With lockdowns easing in NSW, Victoria and the Queensland Government announcing yesterday it’s “plan to unite families” by Christmas, a boom in domestic tourism is on the cards. The boom is likely to be fuelled by travellers visiting friends and relatives (VFR) particularly over the summer months and then into 2022 when low-cost airline Bonza will take to the skies connecting regional Australian centres.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

BreakFree Wirrina Cove Opens in South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula




Accor and New Terry Developments today opened an 87-room BreakFree Wirrina Cove resort, nestled in the heart of beautiful Wirrina Cove, South Australia.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Intrepid launches new South Australian Outback Adventure

Bunyeroo Valley (SA Tourism)

Intrepid Travel expands their local tour network by offering a South Australian adventure that explores rugged outback tracks and experiences designed to give back to local communities.


Intrepid Travel, the world’s leading sustainable tour operator, has launched a new South Australian adventure to its growing collection of local tours available to Australians. Designed to celebrate First Nations histories and culture, this new tour marks Intrepid’s continuing commitment to developing trips that provide Australians with opportunities to discover their own vast backyard.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Sydney's Aboriginal Experiences

You don't have to travel to the outback to encounter Aboriginal culture — there are plenty of ways to connect with Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples right here in Sydney. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Eco-Friendly Holidays now Easy thanks to Kangaroo Island Odysseys and Australia’s New Green Travel Guide


Kangaroo Island Odysseys and Flinders Ranges Odysseys luxury and eco-friendly tours are now easier to find by those looking for sustainable travel experiences, thanks to the launch of Ecotourism Australia’s new Green Travel Guide - the travel companion for eco-conscious travellers everywhere.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Media Invite & Reminder: Sculpture by the Sea Presents ‘Sculpture Rocks’ Exhibition

MEDIA INVITATION Thursday 20 May

REMINDER: ‘SCULPTURE ROCKS’ EXHIBITION




18 JAPANESE WORKS TO MATERIALISE AT THE ROCKS IN SYDNEY FROM 20 MAY – 3 JUNE 2021

Keizo Ushio, ‘Oushi Zokei 2016’, ‘Sculpture Rocks’, 2021. Impression of work in situ.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Autumn Is the Best Time for an Ultimate Winery Experience



It's that time of year again, when rolling hills and sweeping vineyards are ablaze with autumnal hues of red, orange and yellow. Many wine regions are buzzing with the excitement of vintage (a vino term meaning 'harvest'), with the coming weeks offering the best chance for guests to witness the transformation of grapes to wine.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

New Flinders Ranges and Wine Experience Tour

Rawnsley Park SA


Flinders Ranges Odysseys has launched a new ultimate six-day Flinders Ranges and Wine Experience Tour, combining the bustling city of Adelaide, South Australia's leading wine and gourmet food regions and the spectacular and rugged Wilpena Pound and Flinders Ranges outback.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Tourism Australia announces additional support for the business events sector


 Tourism Australia’s specialist business events unit, Business Events Australia, has today made a series of announcements to further
 bolster the Australian business events sector and drive demand for future business through continued funding for the Bid Fund Program and Boost Program, as well as releasing a new video series showcasing Australian innovation.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Take your teambuilding high and wild

Photo: David Hill, Deep Hill Media

After a year of separation, Zoom meetings and working in pyjamas, it’s time to reconnect your team with a leap out of their comfort zone with High and Wild Australian Adventures.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

JobKeeper end means lights out for over 1 in 3 tourism jobs and businesses.



Simon Westaway
Peak body ATIC said with the end of JobKeeper, over 1 in 3 tourism businesses are cutting staff and downsizing with many forced to close because of ongoing low consumer confidence in travel.

ATIC Executive Director Simon Westaway said: “38% of Australian tourism businesses have told us they are cutting jobs and reducing workforce hours to stay viable with the ending of JobKeeper.

“60% of tourism enterprises are in a weaker position since COVID-19, 47% remain open but have fewer staff, and travel bookings and business activity are nationally down 25% at March end.

“As predicted by Federal Treasury, the end of JobKeeper is having a major impact on exposed sectors. This includes Australian tourism and the tens of thousands of at-risk jobs connected to it.

“Just released Federal tourism figures is proof. Australia’s tourism industry lost an astonishing $44 billion in domestic visitor spending in year 2020 plus $34 billion in international visitor losses.

“With a workforce peak of around 1 million before the virus, our sector has lost over 185,000 direct and indirect jobs through the pandemic and is now the fastest falling employment category.

“The situation facing struggling tourism enterprises in our capital cities, where the bulk of these businesses exist, will see worsening levels of job losses and inevitable business closures.

“Operators of tours and experiences across Australia, many by small family businesses, remain heavily impacted by hard border restrictions and consumer confidence in travel hasn’t returned.

“This is a critical period for Australian tourism. Tourism businesses no longer have the protection of JobKeeper or a rapid national vaccine rollout to help rebuild confidence in travel,” he said.

Mr Westaway said ATIC had three demands for the Federal Government including more funding for discount flights, targeted support for affected tourism businesses and a faster vaccine rollout.

“The Morrison Government must invest more in domestic discount air seats, which are marketable to all destinations including every capital city, to bring confidence to interstate travel.

“All capitals and our entire domestic flight network need to be eligible for discount fares through the Government’s Tourism Aviation Network Support Program to help reset our industry.

“Ongoing border restrictions require further targeted federal financial assistance to still struggling tourism businesses until the risks of the virus outbreak are reduced by the vaccine rollout.

“Australia’s national COVID-19 vaccine rollout must be sped up. We urge for a greater focus on immediately vaccinating key workers including front-line health, hotel quarantine and at airports.

“We repeat the call for national consistency across Federal and State Governments to get the national vaccine rollout efficiently moving and a unified response to declared virus hotpots.”
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Thursday, February 25, 2021

The pinnacle of Australian fashion design meets the pinnacle of hotel design


Introducing SKYE Suites as the official hotel partner for Afterpay Australian Fashion Week


For the first time ever, luxury boutique hotel brand, SKYE Suites will be the official hotel partner for the most prestigious fashion event of the year, Afterpay Australian Fashion Week (AAFW). From the 31st May until the 4th June, SKYE Suites will host some of the most prominent Australian designers, models and fashion gurus during the weeklong event held at Carriageworks, Sydney.

The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places