Australia-based tour company Intrepid Travel is getting into the hotel business, it announced this week.
A popular provider of immersive tours with an emphasis on adventure and sustainability, Intrepid aims to open 15 hotels across Australia and New Zealand over the next four years before, hopefully, branching out to popular destinations in Asia, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
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Teaming up with Drifter Hospitality Group, the new properties will be called “Drifter — an Intrepid Hotel” and offer a mix of private and hostel-style shared rooms in urban locations focused on attracting millennial travelers. The hotels will also feature on-site restaurants and bars designed to cater to the same demographic, alongside cultural attractions. The hotels, it seems, are geared toward the same types of younger travelers who already book Intrepid trips from Alaska to Peru and beyond.
To get there, Drifter and Intrepid are working to snatch up closed or distressed hotels across the two countries, with initial plans to raise roughly $56 million to open the first 15 properties. Four hotels, according to Skift, are slated to open in 2022 with Brisbane, Australia, and Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch in New Zealand in the first wave.
If all goes according to plan, approximately $375 million will be raised for its future expansion into Asia.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reported, Intrepid booked over 1 million hotel rooms for travelers in 2019, but that doesn’t mean these new hotels will be used exclusively for tours. In fact, James Thorton, Intrepid’s CEO, told Skift that they’re “more about the attraction of a new customer.”
Intrepid isn’t the only well-known lifestyle brand expanding into the hotel space. Earlier this year, the travel booking site Kayak opened its first Kayak-branded hotel in Miami, leveraging its loyal customer base and sheer brand power to create a physical space for a digital brand.
Similarly, the wellness brand Equinox, which has luxury gyms around the world, opened a fitness-centric hotel in New York City; Luxury retailer Shinola brought its passion for Detroit design to the next level with the Shinola Hotel; and Restoration Hardware, now called RH, is opening a series of guesthouses in New York and Aspen.
While we wait for more solid details about the new Intrepid Hotels, most of us don’t need to feel too rushed to make travel plans. Opening dates for the properties are still a mystery and both Australia as well as New Zealand remain closed to tourists.
Feature image by f11photo/Getty Images.
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