Intrepid Travel has surpassed its goal of raising A$100,000 (Australian dollars) for Unicef Australia to help deliver Covid vaccines to more than 20,000 people.
The tour operator has reached the target (equivalent to more than £53,000) less than two months after launching its global vaccine equity campaign to help fund the delivery of vaccinations in lower-income destinations.
So far, the fundraising campaign has raised more than A$106,000 (£57,000) and the operator has increased its goal to A$150,000 (£80,000) to continue supporting equitable vaccine access.
In addition to fundraising, Intrepid Travel has supported education and access to vaccines in other ways.
These efforts have resulted in 91% of Intrepid tour leaders across six continents receiving their first vaccine and 75% being fully vaccinated.
James Thornton, chief executive of Intrepid Travel, said: “While there is encouraging progress being made with vaccination rates, the global pandemic is far from over. The entire travel industry must continue to step up to acknowledge and act on the current inequalities around global access to Covid-19 vaccines.
“Our customers, people and the communities we visit around the world deserve a safe return to travel.”
The company’s initiatives include:
• paid vaccination leave for all office-based permanent staff globally;
• resources in Peru, including free transportation to a vaccination hub for trekking porters and their families in Cuzco. Intrepid’s deputy operations manager also successfully advocated for a new site to be opened closer to the local communities, where many porters live in Calca;
• and support for education sessions for office-based staff and tour leaders with a member of the World Health Organisation’s technical advisory committee and the International Society of Infectious Diseases to help ease vaccine hesitancy in Sri Lanka.
All donations via The Intrepid Foundation go to Unicef Australia’s Give the World a Shot appeal.
Picture credit: Unicef