Intrepid Travel has reported a pre-tax loss of A$26 million for 2020, compared to a profit of A$21.5 million in 2019, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
Its total workforce shrank by nearly 50% over three rounds of redundancies, according to the annual report from the multi-brand Australian company.
James Thornton, chief executive, said: “While I recognise the significant losses of 2020, during hibernation we have also reimagined the Intrepid of the future.
“In 2020, every stakeholder group at Intrepid was hurt – our people, customers, partners, suppliers, local communities and shareholders.
“It was a devastating year and at times, it became impossible to run a global travel company.
“The pace of change on a global scale was unlike anything any of us has ever witnessed.”
He added: “Intrepid switched almost overnight from growth – in 2019 we achieved our fourth consecutive year of record financial results and carried more than 460,000 travellers – to suspending worldwide operations and hibernating many parts of our business.”
He said by the end of 2020, the adventure travel specialist had processed more than 43,000 trip credits and returned A$21 million in refunds.
The company also revised its 2025 strategy to reflect the impacts of Covid-19 and completed a strategic partnership with French-based family company Genairgy.
This will help Intrepid’s goal to become the world’s first “purpose-led A$1 billion adventure travel company”.
Thornton added: “While the timeline for the return of unrestricted international travel remains unclear, there are plenty of new opportunities ahead in 2021.
“Intrepid will complete its recertification as the world’s largest travel B Corp. We will continue to innovate our product with the expansion of our range of sustainable local trips, and our new Intrepid Premium adventures. And we will refresh the Intrepid brand with a new-look tone and vibrant style.
“The future is bright. The prospect of returning to travel in a meaningful way is no longer a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’.
“While there will certainly be new challenges, I’m confident of a much brighter future.”
The report said large parts of Intrepid’s core markets have been able to maintain their financial security.
“When it is safe to do so, we believe there will be strong travel demand from these parts of the market,” said the report.
“The start of 2021 has also brought some positive signs of recovery, in particular the widescale rollout of vaccines in some of Intrepid’s core markets.
“In the long-term, we forecast that Intrepid, with its purpose activities and sustainable experiences model, will be well placed to benefit as tourism rebuilds.”