Growing demand has prompted the Intrepid Group to open its first operations base in Japan under the PEAK DMC brand. The new office in Kyoto was officially opened by the Deputy Governor of Kyoto Prefecture Mr Takeharu Jofukuon on 25 August 2017, and will be the base for 20 local staff and guides to take thousands of travellers throughout Japan’s most iconic sites as well as lesser known destinations for Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures, Geckos Adventures and other tour operator brands.
The company, which is the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, reported a 69% increase in departures of its Intrepid Travel branded trips to Japan last year, including double the number of travellers on its Japan Family Adventure trips. The group’s premium adventure travel brand, Peregrine Adventures, has also seen its Japan bookings increase by 38% throughout 2016 and youth travel brand Geckos Adventures has seen 13% growth in the second year that it’s taken travellers to the destination.
The multi-brand Intrepid Group takes small groups off-the-beaten track and supports the local communities they visit.
“We’ve seen a huge appetite for a more sustainable and experiential style of travel globally, across all ages and budgets” says the Intrepid Group’s CEO James Thornton.
“One of the benefits of this style of travel is to bring tourism into smaller communities, which is increasingly important for preserving culture and natural beauty in a country like Japan where people are moving to into large cities.
“A great tour guide wants our travellers to experience all the things they love about their country -that might be making traditional Japanese handicrafts making, or getting their hands dirty harvesting rice, or joining in a local festival. Any traveller or tour guide can use Google, but the thing that makes our leaders stand out is passion for their country. While travellers might go for a bucket-list experience, it is the local stories and authentic local experiences that truly connects travellers to the places they visit”.
The new PEAK DMC Japan office is the Group’s eighteenth destination management company in its global network, with new PEAK DMC companies due to open in Iceland in November and in three Central America locations in January 2018.
IMAGE: Celebrating the opening of PEAK DMC Japan L-R: Accountant PEAK DMC China Sunny Gu, Managing Director PEAK DMC Natalie Kidd, Intrepid Group CEO James Thornton, Operations and Purchasing Manager PEAK DMC Japan Erika Ueda, Operations and Purchasing Coordinator PEAK DMC Japan Rebecca John, Senior Accountant PEAK DMC Japan Yuko Iwazaki, General Manager PEAK DMC Japan Jo Crisp