Low Season Traveller wants to fight the return of overtourism by sending tourists to popular destinations outside of peak months. Sam Ballard reports
Low Season Traveller claims to be the “world’s first travel company exclusively dedicated to inspiring travellers to visit worldwide destinations during their low seasons”. It launched in the UK in June.
Although its intentions are admirable, the world has changed dramatically over the last five months or so. Now we are no longer coping with “overtourism” but “Involuntary Undertourism” (a trend highlighted in Globetrender’s free report Travel in the Age of Covid-19).
Nevertheless, Globetrender considers Low Season Traveller worthy of consideration, especially for when global tourism rebounds properly.
Founded by Ged Brown, Low Season Traveller aims to “support the rebirth and sustainable return to growth of the worldwide travel industry post Covid-19”, according to a statement from the company.
Not only does it offer inspiring editorial, but a bespoke personal booking service through its partner Designer Travel.
The company says that about 70 per cent of all travellers arrives in their holiday destination of choice during peak season – usually a narrow window of between four to six months.
Low Season Traveller says: “The way we travel is undoubtedly set to change with an increasing shift towards more responsible forms of tourism, encouraging visits at less congested times of the year.”
Brown, who has 25 years of industry experience, is joined by a team of industry experts including product and commercial director Fiona Greenhalgh (If Only, Carrier, Shearings) and Dr David Ermen (UNWTO), the company’s responsible tourism director.
Low Season Traveller’s ethos of running off-peak holidays fits in with many tourism boards’ strategies of extending the peak season to help combat overtourism.
On Low Season Traveller’s website, clients can select a month to travel – such as July – and are given options that lie outside that destination’s typical peak season.
For example, July options include Dubai, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, while February getaways could take you to the Seychelles or San Francisco.
May and June are two of the least busy months to go to the Maldives but, of course, you run the risk of storms and full days of rain, which is the problem with travelling during off-season.
If you want to go away in August, Low Season Traveller suggests Oman – however, it gets incredibly hot and the Mars-like desert terrain offer little respite in terms of foliage or shade. (Globetrender is also unconvinced that Oman has ever suffered from overtourism in the first place.)
Meanwhile, for those keen to go to Iceland, which has been experienced from overtourism for some time, the most respsonsible time to go is between November and April when it is darker and colder.
The website tries to inform people in advance, however, of what the experience will be like with native podcasts and articles about off-peak travel such as What to do in a low season day in Tokyo. And for some, the trade-off between lower prices and worse conditions will be worth it.
Brown says: “For the past two years, myself and the team have been working on this project with a wide number of partners across the global leisure industry including tourism organisations, hotels, transport and visitor attractions.
“We are convinced that there is a real gap in the market for low-season travel and the recent pandemic has only endorsed our view further. There could never be a better time for us to launch Low Season Traveller highlighting to travellers how to avoid busy tourist spots and delivering effective ‘social distancing’.”
Brown adds: “By showing how to deliver value-for-money, live like the locals and how to avoid the crowds, we are confident that travellers will be inspired by our destination portfolio.
“As the programme develops, we also have the opportunity to support a number of local community charities through our ‘Be The Change You Wish To See In The World’ initiative, something that we are very proud of.
“Our team are passionate about the improved travel experiences that can be enjoyed during the quieter times of the year and we look forward to inspiring travellers with new ideas and plans as the travel industry adapts post Covid-19. Low Season Traveller really is the new way to experience travel.”
What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE