Intrepid calls for greater female representation in TV travel programming

Intrepid Travel is campaigning for more women to appear in travel shows on TV, arguing that it would lead to the continued growth of the female adventure market.

The operator has carried out research suggesting that only 26% of mainstream travel programmes on BBC iPlayer and All4 (Channel 4) feature a female presenter.

Zina Bencheikh (pictured), Intrepid’s managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “At Intrepid, we’ve seen a jump in bookings from women of all ages embracing adventure. It’s so important that women see themselves being represented in the travel industry – be it in film, on TV or even on social media – to give them that confidence to get out and see the world.”

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Intrepid held an exhibition in London last weekend to reflect the growth of female adventure travel while sharing inspiring stories from 11 women, including endurance athlete and former BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin.

‘AdventurHER: Travel Tales of Inspiring Women’ also featured adventurer and presenter Alice Morrison and Morocco’s first female mountain guide, Hafida Hdoubane.

Morrison, who was the first woman to walk the Draa River, the longest in Morocco, said it was important for more female adventures to be seen by the public.

“I would like the media to start being more interested in women adventurers and telling our stories, or listening to our stories, and I would like more women to see themselves reflected,” she added.

Bencheikh said midlife women, or ‘Queenagers’, represent the fastest-growing market segment in the travel industry.

In a bid to help travel agents capitalise on this sales opportunity, Intrepid will take a group on a fam trip to the High Atlas mountains in September. Morrison, who lives in the area, will lead the trip.

Hazel McGuire, Intrepid’s general manager for the UK and Ireland, said the exhibition would also play a role in promoting female adventure travel.

“This is about spreading the word and advancing the thought that women and adventure travel is a great combination,” she said.

The free exhibition, in Camden Passage, Islington, was described as the first such event ever to have been organised by the operator.

“I think it brings [female adventure travel] to life for our agent partners. It brings it to life in a different way,” said McGuire.

The operator added that 87% of women do not feel represented in travel and adventure content on TV, according to survey responses.

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