Intrepid Travel has launched a fundraising and advocacy campaign aimed at supporting “fair and equal access to vaccinations” around the world.
Fewer than 1% of Covid-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to low-income countries, so the adventure operator believes “vaccine equity is essential” to restarting the global travel industry.
Via its non-profit The Intrepid Foundation, Intrepid has committed to raising AUD $100,000 for Unicef Australia to support universal access to Covid-19 vaccines.
And its teams around the world are working to provide easier access to vaccines for tourism workers and their families in remote communities and educating staff to help resolve vaccine hesitancy.
James Thornton, Intrepid Travel chief executive, said: “Intrepid was founded on ideals of inclusivity and equality and we’re very concerned about the unequal access to vaccines around the world.
“Ending the pandemic is not only about you and your vaccine.
“We believe that for travel to return, we need global vaccine equity. Our campaign aims to support fair and equal access to vaccinations, in every country around the world.”
Intrepid’s teams have been taking practical steps to help support vaccination programmes, such as offering paid leave to make it easier for staff to receive jabs.
In Peru, Intrepid has provided free transport to people in the remote Sacred Valley to help them access a major vaccination hub. It has also lobbied local government to open a vaccination hub in Calca, where many Inca Trail porters live (pictured).
At the start of July 2021, none of the porters that Intrepid contracts on treks had been vaccinated. By the end of July, 80% had received at least one dose.
In Sri Lanka, to help address vaccine hesitancy, the company hosted an information and Q&A session.
Furthermore, Intrepid has introduced mandatory vaccination for all travellers and tour leaders from September 1, 2021.
It excludes Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands because of their very low risk environment due to strict government lockdowns and other restrictions.
Intrepid is also asking its community to support Unicef Australia’s Vaccinaid campaign by donating to ‘Give the World a Shot’ via The Intrepid Foundation.
All donations given to The Intrepid Foundation will go to supporting Unicef’s work delivering Covid-19 vaccines to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged countries.
Tony Stuart, Unicef Australia chief executive, said: “We cannot leave any community or country behind in this history-making mission; everyone has a role to play and that is why Intrepid’s partnership and support as a member of the Covid Vaccination Alliance of Unicef Australia is vital in helping to achieve vaccine equity.”