Intrepid Travel to Open Hybrid Hotels in New Joint Venture


Intrepid Travel, a self-guided and group travel company, on the verge of branching out into the accommodation industry, announcing plans for a sustainability-conscious ‘hybrid hotel’ joint venture with New Zealand group Drifter Hospitality.

Intrepid’s new hospitality division will be led by the company’s former APAC Managing Director, Sarah Clark, assisted by Director of Sales, Brett Mitchell. As part of global expansion plans, the project will begin with eight properties in Australia and New Zealand, with the first three scheduled to open in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from 2022 and grow to 15 by 2025.

The Drifter brand will present a cultural food and drink brand with a common feel to travelers.

Dubbed the ‘Drifter – an Intrepid Hotel’, there are also plans to open Australia’s first location somewhere on the east coast next year, but a more precise location has yet to be revealed. The company intends to generalize the concept, creating a real estate portfolio built around repositioned hotels, hostels, redeveloped commercial sites and new construction.

Drifter is a new hotel company formed by tourism entrepreneurs Ryan Sanders, investment banker Hugh Stephenson and chief marketing officer Joshua Hunt, with Sanders to merge the hotel and lodge operations of another of his businesses, Haka Tourism Group, in the new entity. There will be no changes to the Haka New Zealand small-group guided itineraries, which operate separately under a number of additional sub-verticals, including educational tours for school and college groups, nature tours for travelers. German and snow tours for upscale luxury. researchers.

Intrepid Travel Hybrid Hotels
The hotels will have common areas for travelers to mingle and make friends.

The accommodation arm is backed by investment bank Barrenjoey and is currently in the process of raising A $ 75 million fund to acquire and reposition selected hotels to reopen as Drifter properties. The goal, according to Intrepid, is to increase the value of the portfolio to A $ 500 million over time.

Aimed at millennial travelers seeking experience, the Drifter hybrid guest experience will see hotels offer private and shared accommodations as well as common spaces and cultural food and beverage offerings.

Sanders said he was thrilled to partner with Intrepid Travel “with their decades of experience in international tourism and global leadership in sustainable travel, along with their operational expertise and brand strength.”

Intrepid Travel Hybrid Hotels
The first three Drifter hotels will open in 2022 and are expected to grow to 15 by 2025.

Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton said the company has long recognized the potential to bring its knowledge of sustainable travel and international tourism to the hotel industry.

“With Drifter, we will create truly unique hotels that travelers will love and the opportunity to expand throughout the region runs deep,” he said.

Sarah Clark, new general manager of Intrepid hotels, said the hybrid concept will offer a new kind of stay for local, national and international guests.

“I couldn’t be more excited to expand into the accommodation business with Drifter being our first launch partnership,” said Clark.

“We will provide unique, high-quality accommodations and sustainable experiences in the heart of the business districts and vibrant areas of the city. With travel reopening, people looking to reconnect and the opportunity offered by urban real estate, now is the perfect time to embark on this phase of expansion. “

Drifter hotels will be carbon neutral, with sustainable practices to be incorporated into interior design, service, amenities, utilities and broader operational practices.


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