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Posted on September 17, 2021
For our very first podcast interview I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview Geoff “Manch” Manchester, co-founder of Intrepid Group and Director of the company’s not-for-profit The Intrepid Foundation. 

Globally recognised as a pioneer in responsible travel, Intrepid Group are the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences. Geoff and his best mate Darrell Wade founded Intrepid Travel in 1989 with a vision of creating small group adventures that travelled the local way, benefiting both travellers and the places that they visit.


More than a quarter of a century later, Intrepid Travel has grown to become Intrepid Group, a portfolio of specialist tour operators and 23 destination management companies taking over 400,000 travellers to more than 120 countries on all seven continents, and employing more than 2000 staff in 29 offices around the world. 


As a former leader of Intrepid trips in Asia, Manch has firsthand experience of the issues effecting developing nations. His experience in marketing for Intrepid Travel has given him insight into the value placed on such issues by both clients and travel agents. Manch has ensured Intrepid delivers on its sustainable and responsible ethos as the company has grown rapidly over the past 27 years, from championing practical, on the ground decisions involving low impact travel, to setting and implementing company-wide responsible travel strategies.


In 2000, Intrepid Travel established the tourism industry’s first dedicated responsible business department, then in 2002 launched The Intrepid Foundation to enable travellers to give back to the communities they visit. Since its creation the not-for-profit has raised over $10 million for more than 70 conservation and community projects around the globe, supporting initiatives in environmental conservation, wildlife protection, human rights, health care, child welfare and gender equality. 


Manch is especially proud of the connection that The Intrepid Foundation creates between their own local leaders and the projects that they support; they learn about the projects and community issues, and in turn are able to educate their travellers and inspire them to make a donation. Manch is an Ambassador for Conscious Capitalism Australia and is a regular speaker on sustainable business issues in Australia and around the world.  


This interview offers some great insights to people in business who are curious about what a truly purposeful organisation looks like and the relationship between purpose and profit.


Please forgive my enthusiastic use of the words “I love...” throughout this interview. Appropriate, given the podcast theme, but I realise I may need to measure my genuine love for the actions of these businesses who are leading the way, so I don’t end up inspiring the eye-roll effect!! Bear with me as I develop my podcast interviewing skills please.


We cover a lot of ground in this interview and there are some great topics we get into. Some of these are highlighted below.


  • Core Purpose vs Higher Purpose of Intrepid Travel

  • The origins of Intrepid Travel and their “Responsible Travel” approach 

  • Intrepid’s approach to animal welfare in tourism and how they’ve become “the elephant experts”

  • How women’s-only tours in Iran, Morocco and Turkey help to change the way people see the world

  • The impact of the pandemic on Intrepid Travel’s business and Geoff’s view of the impact of the pandemic on the travel industry long-term

  • Intrepid’s leadership, advocacy and support for climate action within the travel industry

  • Regenerative tourism, the evolution of sustainable tourism

  • How Intrepid’s purpose and approach to business attracts likeminded people to their team who are invested in the organisation’s success

  • The direct correlation between Intrepid’s purposeful activities and their growth and profit


Here are the links I promised in the interview:

I really hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed having a yarn with Geoff. 

For more information on Intrepid Group visit; for more information on The Intrepid Foundation visit For more on Geoff, you can find him on Linkedin

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