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BUS5SMM Sustainability Management And Marketing For Adventurous Travel Company

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  • Course Code: BUS5SMM
  • University: La Trobe University
  • Country: Australia

Questions:

1. Analyse Intrepid Travel’s vision, mission and values and their connection with sustainability.
2. Analyse Intrepid Travel’s goal setting practices, and major types of plans
3. Examine Intrepid Travel’s approach(s) to planning (i.e. traditional, modern and innovative)
4. How has sustainability been incorporated into those key decisions/practices?
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:  

The report gives an overview of sustainability management and marketing of Intrepid Travels. Intrepid Travel represents the largest small group adventurous travel company of the world offering over 1,500 itineraries in around 120 countries (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). The report therefore begins with a general introduction of the company along with a discussion about its management and organizational structure. There is also discussion about the international business environment in the Australian context. The report also puts forward analysis on the impact of the environmental factors and evaluation of the level of competition within the industry.   The report also undertakes a research, analysis and discussion on the sustainability practices undertaken by the company in relation to strategy and planning, human resource management, leadership and control of the value chain and technology. The report also puts forward recommendations on the future strategies on management of the company followed by a conclusion. 

 

Detailed Information of the Chosen Company

About the Company, Its Management and Organizational Structure 

Intrepid Travel is the small group travel company that ensures adventurous travel experiences and has headquarters in Australia (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). Geoff Manchester and Darrell Wade found the company in the year 1988. The company focused on responsible travel and represented the first travel company of the world to take a stance on the elephant rides.

The Australian travel operator has restructured the company’s top management. The director and co-founder Geoff Manchester played the role of the managing director. The former chief executive Darrell Wade also continues to be the executive director who primarily focused on the newer opportunities of growth outside the existing business of the operator.

The Intrepid Travel is part of the Intrepid Group that also has nonprofit organization known as Intrepid Foundation (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). The Inteprid Foundation consists of two entities, The Intrepid Foundation Ltd and The Intrepid Foundation Trust. The Intrepid Foundation Ltd represents a company limited by its guarantee that has two roles. The first includes acting as a trustee for the trust and manage the day-to-day operations and the second includes raising funds for perpetual partners and community projects. The Intrepid Foundation Trust represents an ancillary fund of the public that plays the role of receiving donations.

 

International Business Environment and Australian Context

The International Business Environment depends on the macro and microenvironment. The microenvironment represents actors in the immediate environment of the company that influence its performance (Wild, Wild and Han 2014). These include marketing intermediaries, competitors, suppliers, customers and publics. The macro environment consists of larger societal forces that influence the microenvironment of the company. These include demographic, natural, economic, technological, cultural and political forces.  

In Australia, Intrepid Travels is owned independently and operates in close to over 120 countries, and offers more than 1500 itineraries. The destination targeted by the travel operator includes Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Australia and Antarctica (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). The company employs around 800 staffs in close to 20 countries. This travel agent is for those customers who yearn not only for a sense of fun and adventure but also possess the urge of escaping from the monotonous mainstream tourism.  The company has respect for all the local environments and cultures and follows a relaxed and flexible approach that proves beneficial for the international travelers of all the ages. The company offers a range of ten different trip styles where they make use of public transport and make people eat and stay in locally owned small-scale establishments thereby making the trip comforting and active.

The company is in position where it thoroughly researches and incorporates travel sensitivities and local knowledge of all its destinations. This approach of the company helps them repeat around 40 percent of the travelers (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). Intrepid Travel also visits wide location ranges including protected areas like National Parks, UNESCO World Heritage sites and animal conservation centre. Patronage of the local services along with admission fees brings in economic incentives to local communities for conservation of the natural heritage.  The company also supports conservation programs through the philanthropic contributions of the Intrepid Foundation.

Impact of Environmental Factors 

The impact of the environmental factors on Intrepid Travel includes (Doherty, Steel and Parrish 2012):

Political –Legal

Australia has a liberal capitalist democracy and state interferes with the economy through its various roles thereby affecting businesses. Like for instance the decision of the parliament in setting up importation of taxes for protecting the national economy or the implementation of the environmental protection laws.

Economic

In terms of economy, Australia represents the largest capitalist economy of the world dominated primarily by the service sector. This provides scopes for business to flourish. 

Socio Cultural

Three social classes including working, middle and the upper class dominate the Australian social culture. Each of these classes follows different social trends that have a direct impact on the demand for the company’s services thereby affecting its business directly.

 

Technological Factors

Australia is improving in terms of science and technology by collaborating with various research and development centre. Technology leads to innovation, improves quality and reduces costs thereby providing a better platform for businesses.

Evaluation of the Level of Competition with the Travel Industry 

Australia happens to be the most desired of all the tourism destinations around the world (Vengesayi 2013). The demand for travelling to the country will grow during 2015-16 with the increase in international inbound visitors to about 5 percent that is close to 7.3 million visitors. Australia has a strong tourism brand and therefore it faces aggressive competition from more than 190 countries. Intrepid Travel can respond to such increasing competition by focusing on the countries competitive advantage.

Analysis and Discussion on Sustainability Related Strategies and Issue 

Planning and Strategy 

Intrepid Travels believes in the vision of changing the manner in which people views the world. The company aims at enriching the lives of the people through creation of interactive and unique travel experiences. The company provides fun loving, sustainable and affordable travel adventures for benefitting the local communities (Vengesayi 2013).  The company recognizes the necessity of sustainable tourism and so it believes in the principles of responsible tourism thereby respecting the local environment, cultures and people, distribution of wealth and goodwill that ultimately leads to balanced development.

The company plans in working towards its vision and fulfilling its purpose by focusing on the business growth and analyzing the purpose beyond the profit (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). However, the key plan of the company involves having a digital mindset on a company wide basis. It also includes leveraging the global destination management companies. The company also plans to focus on the expansion of the fully independent travel range. There were plans for ensuring the success of company’s multi-brand business model. In addition, the company also aims at coming under the certification of B Corp.

The company has put in extraordinary effort and thought in rolling out the carbon management plan within a period of four years (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). In the year 2008, the company became signatory to United Nations Global Compact and a portion of the commitments represented working towards the environmental sustainability through recognizing the change of Climate. By the late 2010, the Intrepid Travel became a company that was completely carbon neutral.

However, for incorporating sustainability into the operations of the company, Intrepid Travel believed in undertaking a holistic view of the business and its impacts. This meant looking beyond balance sheets and the areas of the business that were linked intrinsically. This included society, economy, government ethics and environment.

Human Resource Management 

The small group adventure travel company, Intrepid Travels, has adopted a competitive strategy that ensures that it has low operating expenses for maximization of the profits. The company also adopts a strategy for attaining operational effectiveness (Yüksel and Çal?yurt 2016). This ensures employing skilled employees who not only helps in reducing the internal cost and thereby increase the operational margins. The company also focuses on having a stronger internal culture marked by engagement and higher morale of the employees. This helps in increasing productivity and thereby enhancing its profits.

The company also believes in responsible tourism. Intrepid Travels believes in making a difference through investment in the human rights initiatives, projects related to wildlife, environment and local communities.

Intreprid Travels manages to recruit the right kind of people that ensures the success of its business (Harry 2014). The recruitment process followed by the company is office based where the employees screened through the process of an interview. The selected applicant is invited to meet the concerned person where he is confirm  through the process of writing whose time frame varies from 2 to 4 weeks time.

The keep pace with the growing business needs the company also reengineers the existing positions and ensures the creation of newer roles. Thus, the company helps in developing an effective workforce through performance reviews, internal training and training and study support (Jabbour and Santos 2008). The performance reviews carried every six months where issues related to training opportunities, performance and future development is discussed that helps in building a healthy two way communication between the managers and the employees. The company also values its employees by providing them with study leave and encourages application for the financial support of the external training programs. The company also runs workshops and regular courses that ensure internal training of the employees.

Intrepid Travel managed to maintain an effective work force by providing them with various benefits. The company puts forward travel discount for the staffs that implies that every permanent employee receives a discount on intrepid trips. The company also offers Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that assists to the employees and the immediate family members in critical times (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). The company ensures the safety of the workers but also see to the fact that they are happy working.  

Intrepid Travels has incorporated its HRM practices through creation of business opportunities. The key sustainability focus of company remains in engagement of the travelers in the sustainability issues, improvement of the engagement of the staffs, creation and adherence to the best practices on a global scale. The sustainability focus is lies in measuring the impact of partnerships and operations. The company thus tries to align its objectives with the five Ps of the sustainable development that includes planet, people, prosperity, partnerships and peace. 

 

Leadership 

The company has followed a transformational and charismatic leadership style. Transformational leadership refers to the leadership style where leaders usually work with the subordinates for identifying the need for change thereby creating a vision for guiding the change through the process of inspiration along with execution of the change amongst the group members (Stead and Stead 2013). On the other hand, charismatic leadership relies more on the persuasiveness and charm of the leader and driven by the commitment and convictions towards the cause. Due to certain shared similarities charismatic leaders also known as transformational leaders (Avolio  and Yammarino 2013).

The leaders of Intrepid Travels are not only the travel experts but also act as travel guru, teacher and an enthusiastic source of knowing about the grass root experiences

These leaders inspire and motivate people beyond the normal levels of performance. The leaders act as bridge between the friendly locals and the travelers. They also share tips along with plenty of stories that makes you to feel as a part of the locality. They also help in discovering the hidden highlights and provide suggestions for best utilization of the free time. They also make the trip seamless for the travelers.

Intrepid Travels possesses its greatest strength in diversity. The company therefore strives in promoting inclusiveness and equality at all levels of the business. The company currently has 21 percent female leaders that it plans to double by the year 2020. This is a part of the ongoing effort of the company in promoting independence of women and gender equality.

Controlling the Value Chain and Technology

Operations Management is the field of management that deals with controlling and designing the production process along with redesigning the business operations for ensuring effective delivery of services (Stead and Stead 2013). Intrepid Travel is conducting an effective supply chain management through continuous improvement of the performance factors along with increase in flexibility. The company also ensures quality improvement and improved communication facilities.

Intrepid Travel ensures effective management of Supply Chain by adopting the following strategies.

  1. Adopting a demand-driven process of planning and business operation model based on demand shaping and demand insights on real time basis.
  2. Ensure building an agile and adaptive supply chain through integrated execution and rapid planning.
  3. Optimizing the various services for attaining sustainability and accelerating profitable innovation
  4. Ensuring thealignment of the supply chain with the business goals of the company
  5. Integrating the aspect of sustainability into the supply chain operations
  6. By ensuring a predictable and reliable supply

Intrepid Travels have used new technology in transforming its supply chain management practices (Prajogo and Olhager 2012). The emergence of technology has not only lead to greater transparency and efficiency but it has also helped the company in focusing on its individuals. Influence of technology has also made community and communication tighter. The concept of cloud computing have also made way for small but nimble carriers.

Companies strive for operating in a sustainable manner and Intrepid Travel is no different. There is however no denying the fact that being environmentally friendly and going green is the only way for the future of the companies (Intrepidtravel.com 2018). Intrepid Travel thus ensures delivering their service in a manner that has hardly an impact on the environment, does not contribute to the climatic changes, does not reduce natural resources or contributes to injustice or social inequalities. This has encourages the company in undertaking a carbon neutral business since the year 2010.

Future Strategy Management 

Recommendations 

The recommendations of the future management strategies for Intrepid Travel are as follows:

Understanding the needs of the local market and developing a collaborative approach:

Intrepid Travels should focus more on the local cultures, behaviors and customers needs along with the existing successful and lesser successful marketing approaches. This helps on building a closer relationship with the team that operates locally.

Developing and Socializing an EarlyGlobal Marketing Plan:

Intrepid Travel must follow a proactive approach in socializing its plans that will give more exposure to the company. Socializing helps in receiving feedbacks and thereby ensures better operation.

Keeping Track and Ensuring Adjustment in Real Time:

For better operation, the company must ensure keeping a track of the review metrics through either a video call or simply a call that allows the company in undertaking necessary actions. The discussions undertaken must be vibrant and active with necessary contributions from the local team.

Conclusion:

The report ends by recommending future management strategies for Intrepid Travels. There is also a vivid analysis on the company’s operations management and supply chain with special emphasis on sustainability. The report also puts forward a discussion on leadership, human resource management and planning with special emphasis on sustainability. The report also discusses about the background information of the company.   

 

References:

Avolio, B.J. and Yammarino, F.J. eds., 2013. Introduction to, and overview of, transformational and charismatic leadership. In Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead 10th Anniversary Edition (pp. xxvii-xxxiii). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

  Daft, R.L. and Samson, D., 2014. Fundamentals of Management: Asia Pacific Edition PDF. Cengage Learning Australia.

Doherty, I., Steel, C. and Parrish, D., 2012. The challenges and opportunities for professional societies in higher education in Australasia: A PEST analysis.

Harry, W., 2014. The relevance of the vision of sustainability to HRM practice. In Sustainability and Human Resource Management (pp. 401-419). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Employment with Intrepid overview | Employment with Intrepid. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/employment#4621 [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). How you can positively impact the communities you visit through our foundation. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/intrepid-foundation [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Our story overview | Our story. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/our-story [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Our travellers overview | Our travellers. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/our-travellers [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Real life experiences overview | Real life experiences. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/real-life-experiences [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Responsible business overview | Responsible business. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/responsible-business [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Responsible business overview | Responsible business. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/responsible-business [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Six reasons to travel with Intrepid overview | Six reasons to travel with Intrepid. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/why-intrepid [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Intrepidtravel.com. (2018). Why small group travel overview | Why small group travel. [online] Available at: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/about/why-small-group-travel [Accessed 31 Jan. 2018].

Jabbour, C. J. C., & Santos, F. C. A. (2008). The central role of human resource management in the search for sustainable organizations. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(12), 2133-2154

Prajogo, D. and Olhager, J., 2012. Supply chain integration and performance: The effects of long-term relationships, information technology and sharing, and logistics integration. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(1), pp.514-522.

Stead, J.G. and Stead, W.E., 2013. The coevolution of sustainable strategic management in the global marketplace. Organization & Environment, 26(2), pp.162-183.

Stead, J.G. and Stead, W.E., 2013. Sustainable strategic management. ME Sharpe.

Vengesayi, S., 2013. A conceptual model of tourism destination competitiveness and attractiveness.

Wild, J.J., Wild, K.L. and Han, J.C., 2014. International business. Pearson Education Limited.

Yüksel, Ü. and Çal?yurt, K., 2016. Re-21 visiting sustainability. Sustainability and Management: An International Perspective, p.288.

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