New Intrepid Managing Director – James Thornton


What drew you to work in the travel industry?
 A:  Having left University I worked in the finance industry but soon realised that there was more to life than wearing a suit and making rich people richer. I’ve always believed that if you can find something you are passionate about – then success will follow. My passions are travel & sport so I sought out a career in one of the two. The opportunity with Intrepid presented itself. I thought I’d give it 2 years and if it didn’t work out I could always go back to Finance. Turns out it was a good move and I’ve not looked back since!  

What do you like most about your job?
 A: We’re responsible for sending well over 100,000 people on trips around the world every year – that’s a huge buzz.

Who do you admire and see as a role model in the travel industry?
 A: I admire any individual who’s established a travel company under their own steam and there are many examples. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with two such individuals very closely over the past 7.5 years…Darrell & Geoff are fantastic leaders; their best quality – having the ability to inspire people to go above & beyond for their organisation.

What do you want to see improve in the industry?
Greater Innovation – travel is the best industry in the world, yet marketing the industry is often very poorly done. Why – when it’s the best product in the world to sell?

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
I’ve just had a son, so travel might be a little quieter than in previous years. In saying this I’m always planning the next trip and Burma, The Kimberley’s & Mexico are on the list for 2013. Antarctica is the big one.

What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
Coming face to face with a Mountain Gorilla in the Volcanoes National Park in Northern Rwanda on Christmas Day was undoubtedly my highlight to date.  

What are three things you must always take with you when you travel?
A spare pair of glasses (lesson learnt in deepest Africa!); Noise cancelling headphones are invaluable on a long flight; Running gear to explore my destination;

Name someone famous with whom you’d like to travel and where you’d to take them.
Antarctica is the big trip for me – I’m going need some fun & banter to get me over the Drake passage and there are few funnier people than James Corden

Source = Intrepid Travel
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