To begin with, I would like to take a minute to mention my friends and colleagues in our industry who have been in survival mode, ever since this virus kicked in and caused so much disruption globally. My sympathy goes out to them and to friends and colleagues who may have lost loved ones during this epidemic.
Having listened to countless webinars, podcasts and experts talk about the state of the travel industry, I'm tired of hearing about the 'new normal'. The plain truth is, nobody knows what that may be and human beings are resilient and if we look at history, it has shown us that as soon as a travel ban caused by an epidemic, or major event is lifted, people want to get on a plane and travel. At first, many will keep that to short haul flights and the signs already are that people are looking at private villa options for their families and in some cases, private islands. Time will tell!
Out of every crisis comes positivity and in early March, I had a call from a friend of mine who wanted to introduce me to someone who was launching a new travel company. He was looking for some advice on what to do under the present conditions and would I be willing to be involved. My first thoughts were, 'this is a challenging time to launch a new company, I want to hear more'! After an email introduction and telephone call with the founder of the company, I was immediately taken by the passion he exuded for his cause and how he wanted to further develop sustainability through low season travel and help the tourism industry rebound from this terrible virus. What really took me by surprise was that he wanted to give 50% of the booking profits to worthy, deserving causes around the world.
After further discussions, I was invited to come on board as a director of the company, to assist in developing the business, which I have graciously accepted.
The founder is Ged Brown and his company is called 'Low Season Traveller' and it is the only company in the world currently focusing on sustainable, low season travel. Due to the phenomenal interest from the industry, I'm pleased to say that the company will launch on June 18th 2020.
Over the past few months Ged has been busy recording informative podcasts with interesting people from all sorts of destinations, which have already had over 10,000 downloads. If you are interested in finding out more, feel listen to some of them via this link https://lowseasontraveller.libsyn.com/
Low Season Traveller works closely with the World Tourism Association For Culture and Heritage and has organised a series of webinars which you may find of interest. The first episodes featured Dr David Beirman of UTS who is the world's leading authority on crisis management and recovery, Chris Flynn speaking about what we have learnt from past crises like SARS, GFC etc, as well as more leading figures in the travel industry. To register for upcoming webinars, please follow this link -https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5106409482661177868