Following the launch of a limited-number of women-only tours in the Middle East this year, leading experiential travel company Intrepid Travel has revealed that it will expand the number of departures following significant customer interest and bookings.
The itineraries, each guided by female tour leaders, aim to break down cultural barriers in the destinations visited – Morocco, Iran and Jordan – and offer an insight into the traditions and routines of local women in each destination.
The tours allow travellers to access areas that wouldn’t be possible with men in the group, such as a beauty salon, female-only train carriage or a female-only park.
Originally launched as just five departures, Intrepid has now expanded to 25 trips across the three countries, with tours departing all the way through to 2020.
Iran in particular has proved particularly popular with travellers.
In a month that sees Britain marking 100 years since women were given the vote, the success of the women-only departures demonstrates the power of travel and tourism to provide opportunities for women to find employment and empowerment, with Intrepid now employing 12 female guides in Morocco, up from zero just a couple of years ago.
Intrepid Travel’s commitment to women’s equality extends beyond the Women’s Expeditions.
The company is committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the business, with the ultimate goal of doubling its number of female tour leaders globally by 2020.
In India, the company recently achieved a 50/50 gender split in the intake of new leaders, made possible by proactively advertising for female applicants, creating targeted social campaigns, and educating women’s families on the importance and positive attributes of female employment.