Explore's sales soar as demand grows for sustainable adventure travel

Sales are soaring this year for global adventure company Explore, with record demand driven by travellers choosing holidays in Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Japan.

A search for safer havens amid volatility elsewhere in the world is thought to be a key reason for the trend.

The UK company says it has already exceeded its 2023 final results and January included the biggest day of sales in its 42-year history, with Black Friday and a recent Great Europe Getaway Campaign also doing very well.

Asia overall grew 51 per cent with trips such its Simply Japan up 61 per cent and Cycle Vietnam rising 74 per cent.  Sri Lanka was a star performer with a 139 per cent increase on 2023.

South America, India and South Africa are also proving popular with UK visitors.

Other reasons for the boom include the business boosting investment in overseas markets, including additional customer services and new marketing managers in Australia and North America, plus a focus on trade business.

Some 19 per cent of Explore’s bookings are now made through travel agents compared to half that in 2019. More than 20 per cent of the company’s trade now comes from non-UK markets.

Explore, which employs some 75 staff in the UK, now runs over 350 trips in a 100 countries where it combines crafted itineraries with award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and a commitment to responsible travel.

Wildlife, culture, walking and trekking, a polar voyage, cycling or a family adventure are all covered and the company has recently received its social purpose and positive impact B Corp Certified accreditation.

“We knew 2024 would be a big year for Explore as our globalisation strategy has really come into effect,” says managing director Michael Edwards.

“We opened our second overseas office in Brisbane this time last year, and have expanded our team both there and in North America. In the last 12 months our overseas bookings have increased by more than half and we’re only just getting started.”

Explore’s holistic approach to sustainability embraces climate protection, ethical supply chains and diversity and inclusion.

“Long gone are the days when sustainability was a siloed topic within business: it is now integral to every single decision we make and how we operate,” declares Edwards.

“We’ve made a commitment to continue along the journey of improvement to always strive to be better than yesterday. The globally-recognised B Corporation meets some of the biggest standards out there, which will hopefully give our customers reassurance that we’re doing everything we can to provides responsible, once-in-a-lifetime adventures while being a force for good and protecting our planet for generations of future travellers.”

The company is also encouraging other travel businesses to do the same and be B Corp registered.

“We’re happy to share our methodology with other businesses because we feel it’s important that more travel companies become sustainable and go for B Corp,” adds Edwards.

“The responsibility sits with us, and if our customers are looking to book their next ‘big adventure’ or ‘holiday of a lifetime’ with us then we are helping them travel in a more sustainable way.”



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