Intrepid Travel is launching two new women’s expeditions in Pakistan and Israel & The Palestinian Territories, just in time for Women’s History Month in March. The addition of these new expeditions is the company’s third release to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The two new destinations added to the existing portfolio of Women’s Expeditions, which includes Iran, Jordan, Nepal, Kenya, Morocco, Turkey, and India, with customer numbers on the women’s only expedition growing 116 percent in 2019.
“This is Intrepid’s fastest-growing range to date, and we have seen female travelers connect with other women in powerful and moving ways,” said Jenny Gray, senior product manager, Intrepid Travel, in a statement.
As the world’s largest B Corp-certified travel company, Intrepid Travel originally introduced these women-led tours to connect like-minded travelers and give newfound economic opportunity via tourism to local women in destinations with traditional gender roles.
“Now, in its third year, local female leaders offer insight and a unique understanding of women in these regions with respect to their cultural and religious values. We have found experiences that share stories of female empowerment, and directly benefit local women by seeking out female-owned accommodation, restaurants, suppliers, and businesses in Pakistan and Israel and The Palestinian territories,” Gray added.
This emphasis is in line with Intrepid Travel’s new gender equality goals. Last year, the travel company met its target of doubling female tour leaders, to increase opportunities for women in tourism where they were previously limited. There were 154 female leaders in 2017; in January 2020, that number was 342.
In 2020, Intrepid will enhance those goals with new commitments to increase employment opportunities for women in the travel industry. This includes doubling the number of female porters globally who assist travelers on mountain hikes in Tanzania, Peru, and Nepal, to name a few.
“It’s crucial for us to enable women in all levels of the business, from our leaders on the ground all the way to gender parity on our board,” Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton said in a statement.
Supply chain is an ongoing focus for Intrepid, in line with its B Corp certification. The travel company will perform a rigorous audit to assess how many suppliers are women-owned or women-led in 2020. In 2021, Intrepid will work with its biggest suppliers to maximize opportunities for women and reduce gender inequality.
Details of Intrepid Travel’s new 15-day Pakistan: Women’s Expedition, which starts at $3,475, includes a journey to Pakistan’s remote northern mountains. With a local female leader at the helm of the trip to the Hunza and Yasim valleys, the communities and landscapes associated with the hallowed Karakoram are highlighted. Local women working in cooking schools, carpet weaving, and cafes throughout the region are highlighted. Your clients will be immersed in remote mountain villages while staying overnight and sharing food and stories with a local family and will journey along the world-famous Karakoram Highway to Khunjerab National Park in search of yaks, Himalayan ibex, and the elusive snow leopard. They will then trek to alpine lakes, ancient glaciers, and the remnants of ruined empires, then witness the march of modern Pakistan in the country’s capital of Islamabad.
The Israel and The Palestinian Territories: Women’s Expedition, which starts at $2,595, is an eight-day women’s expedition to Israel and the Palestinian Territories with local female leaders and guides from Israeli, Palestinian and Bedouin backgrounds.
Your clients will meet Palestinian peace activists, break bread with Bedouin women, and learn about Israeli women working to secure the right to pray at the Western Wall.
An artist’s village in Arad where the local community has developed a social tourism project that highlights what life is like on the edge of the Judaean Desert will be visited as well as the West Bank city of Ramallah where your clients will visit with a local peace activist, then enjoy a homecooked meal and discussion with activists from the Women Wage Peace organization. Historical sites of Jerusalem will be witnessed on a unique dual-narrative tour, with both an Israeli guide and a Palestinian guide. Bedouin culture will be featured with lunch and discussion with local women involved in grassroots activities in tourism and agriculture, creating livelihoods and discover the secret art of Henna.