Urban Adventures abandons franchise model due to COVID pandemic.

Urban Adventures shocked the tours and activity industry today, announcing that they are moving away from the franchise model.

As of March 31, the Urban Adventures brand will ‘no longer exist’. The day tour brand of Urban Adventures will be fully integrated into the Intrepid Travel business.

In an email sent to Urban Adventures Partners in November 2020, acting MD Klaudija Janzelj wrote that due to the pandemic, the company needed to adopt an alternative business model.

‘This involves Intrepid fully owning the product and operations and using existing resources from within our wider business.’

Changes include:

  • Urban Adventures will be integrated into the Intrepid business.
  • The franchise model will be replaced by Intrepid managing the day-tours product.
  • The Urban Adventures Group will no longer exist.
  • The Urban Adventures brand name will be replaced by Intrepid Urban Adventures as an Intrepid style. Practically, this means Intrepid will become the core name and message when talking with customers, suppliers and partners.
  • Intrepid Urban Adventures tours will be sold in fewer cities, and the number of tours sold within cities will be substantially reduced. We will continue with around 70 destinations.
  • The Urban Adventures Global Team will move into different roles within the Intrepid business and Doru Raduta will transition into a new role as Intrepid Urban Adventures Product Manager. The global team will continue to actively support day tours as part of the Intrepid business.

A transition period to implement these changes will begin immediately, and we expect the full transition to be completed as of March 31, 2021.

In an official statement issued today, Klaudia Janelzj announced that ‘we can confirm that our day tour brand, Urban Adventures, will become fully integrated into the Intrepid Travel business, operating as Intrepid Urban Adventures as of April 1, 2021.’

She added that ‘Urban Adventures has always been part of the Intrepid Travel family but previously stood adjacent in its systems, processes, and operations. As part of our work to refocus the business amid the global pandemic, we have made the decision to move away from the franchise model.

Day tours will remain a core part of our 2025 growth strategy. We understand that this decision has a far-reaching impact on our partners, who have helped make Urban Adventures what it is today, and we would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication.’

Where does this leave Urban Adventures franchise partners? Tourpreneur will be following up on this story, bringing you operator and industry reaction.