Profits at Intrepid Group grew by 56% last year on the back of rising global demand for sustainable travel.

The multi-brand Australian company achieved the fourth consecutive year of record growth in revenue and operating profit.

Profits were up to A$22.6 million in the company’s 30th anniversary year on the back of a 21% rise in turnover to A$488M over 2018.

More than A$4.5 million will be paid out to the group’s 2,300 staff in bonuses as a result.

Intrepid saw a 23% increase in customised trip sales from independent travellers drawn to the brand’s sustainability credentials and local expertise.

Global destination management company, PEAK DMC, saw the biggest year-on-year growth with sales from DMC partners up by 67% in 2019.

Group chief executive James Thornton described PEAK DMC sales as an emerging area of the business that will help to grow the overall market for sustainable and experience-rich travel.

“Each year brings new challenges and opportunities for the global travel industry. We’ve learnt that to balance our growth and purpose, that we must continue to innovate and to diversify our business,” he said.

“Responsible travel has been a driving force for Intrepid since our beginnings and the more we grow, the more we can do.”

The Intrepid Foundation, the company’s not-for-profit, also marked a record year in 2019, raising A$1.5 million for local and international charities.

A carbon-neutral travel company since 2010, Intrepid declared a climate emergency last month and publicly committed to a seven-point action plan to become climate positive in 2020.

“We truly believe that the travel industry can be a force for good, but with a new decade upon us, it is increasingly clear that our industry needs to accelerate action on climate change,” Thornton added.

The 2019 results mark the completion of a four-year strategy developed by Intrepid after the company split from Tui to become an independently owned business with a “purpose beyond profit”.

The group now claims to be the world’s largest provider of adventure travel experiences, offering more than 2,700 trips in 120 countries through its three operator brands – Intrepid Travel, Peregrine Adventures and Urban Adventures.

The company’s growth is driven by increasing global demand for sustainable and locally immersive travel experiences, according to Thornton.

He said: “It’s fantastic to achieve strong double-digit growth again in 2019.

“But this year’s results are also hugely significant to our team, because just four years ago this kind of growth seemed like an impossible dream.”

Intrepid Group will publicly report on its emissions in its annual report, which is released in April. The report will talk to the highlights and challenges of 2019, as well as reveal details of Intrepid’s “ambitious” 2025 strategy.