Adventure travel specialist Explore has appointed former Intrepid Group and G Adventures executive Michael Edwards as managing director.

Edwards will join Explore on April 5, following consultancy roles at Nomadic Tribe and The Travel Collective. His career in the adventure travel sector includes six years at Intrepid, where he held roles including managing director EMEA and chief growth officer before leaving as part of a management restructure in 2019.

Joe Ponte, chief executive of Explore parent Hotelplan UK, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Michael to the team. Michael’s experience in the small group adventure travel category is unparalleled and makes him the perfect recruit to continue Explore’s strategic ambitions to become a global business.

“I look forward to working with Michael and the team at Explore to come back stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic, building on the solid foundations already in place, and the company’s reputation for doing the right thing.”

Edwards said: “I’m excited to join Explore at what is a pivotal time for the business, as we start to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. I have long admired the company’s approach to sustainable, experiential travel, and its stellar reputation among its customers.

“There is great potential for further growth through travel agents, and I am looking forward to working with the team and our trade partners to build back even stronger, both in the UK and globally.”

Explore confirmed that John Telfer will continue as deputy managing director to support Edwards’ integration, before supporting the Hotelplan board on a part-time basis.