Darrell Wade is the co-founder of Intrepid Travel and CEO of Intrepid Group, the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences. Globally recognised as a leader in responsible travel, Intrepid Group’s portfolio of six specialist tour operators take over 250,000 travellers to more than 100 countries on all seven continents.
Intrepid Travel was started by Darrell and his best mate Geoff ‘Manch’ Manchester in Melbourne back in 1989, with the vision of creating the best value small group adventures that benefited both travellers and the places that they visit.
More than a quarter of a century later, Intrepid Group now includes well-known brands Peregrine Adventures, Geckos Adventures and Urban Adventures, as well as 17 B2B destination management companies operating under the PEAK DMC brand. Catering for all ages, budgets and appetites for adventure, Intrepid Group employs more than 1500 staff in 25 offices around the world, and is the only vertically integrated business in the fast- growing adventure travel sector. Despite the changes, these brands are united by Darrell’s original vision and commitment to the principles of sustainable travel.
Intrepid Travel was the first travel company in the world to have a responsible travel department, and in 2002 Darrell and Manch established The Intrepid Foundation, a not-for-profit that enables travellers to give back to the communities they visit. Since its creation, The Intrepid Foundation has raised over $4 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.
Over the course of his career, Darrell has been recognised as a leader in business, adventure travel and sustainability. His achievements include being selected as one of the first group of Australians to complete Climate Project training with the Hon Mr Al Gore, winning the NAB Smart Company Award and being named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002 (along with Geoff Manchester). Darrell also spearheaded Intrepid’s climate management program, with the company realising its goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2010.