Darrell Wade is a globally recognised entrepreneur and responsible tourism pioneer. He is the co-founder and chairman of Intrepid Travel. He co-founded the company in 1989 as a new way to explore the world in a sustainable, and authentic way that gave back to the communities they were visiting.
Inspired by training with Al Gore in 2007, Wade was an early advocate of sustainable tourism. He led Intrepid towards achieving many industry firsts, including becoming the first to become carbon neutral in 2010, the world’s largest travel company to achieve B Corp certification in 2018, and the first global tour operator to commit to science-based carbon reduction targets in 2020.
Intrepid was the first tour company to ban elephant rides on its trips in 2014, a catalyst for the rest of the industry to follow suit. This year, Intrepid was named as one of Time100’s most influential companies.
Intrepid and Darrell’s leadership has inspired and supported the industry to make meaningful strides towards a more equitable and sustainable future for travel.
Darrell is also the chairman of Intrepid’s not-for-profit, the Intrepid Foundation, established in 2002 with the intention of empowering travellers to deepen their impact and support economic, social, and environmental causes in the places they visit. It’s since raised more than $13millionAUD for 135 partners around the world. In 2023, the Foundation’s earthquake appeals for Turkiye & Syria and Morocco raised over AU$308,000 and AU$512,000 respectively.
Importantly, Darrell was WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) Vice-Chair for 10 years (2013-2023) and Sustainability Chair for 3 years (2020-2023). WTTC is the largest private-sector organisation in travel. During this time, he encouraged and fought for the WTTC to sign the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism, the largest industry-wide commitment to reducing carbon emissions and reaching net zero. He signed the declaration on behalf of WTTC at COP26. The Declaration encouraged stakeholders to show leadership and drive action to address the climate crisis.
He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2023.