Here at Low Season Traveller, we are always intrigued by the way in which travel experiences are portrayed to us when we are planning our travels, as opposed to the actual experience we have once we arrive at a destination. When we started Low Season Traveller in 2018, we wanted to ensure that we would only feature photographs and video content that was captured during the low season months when least visitors are in each destination and this would be our unique point of difference.
In reality, the experience differs wildly in each destination depending on the time of year in which you visit. On average 70% of all visitors to any given destination, arrive during the busier or high season months. Regrettably, the images and video content which is most often seen is taken during the low seasons as opposed to the high seasons despite the fact that the experience the traveller will have during the high season will never be shown to them beforehand. Why? Well, take a look at the images below and you will understand why images from the high seasons are rarely used (even though most people’s experiences are as shown).
The Acropolis, Athens, Greece
The image on the left is the most similar to the images we are shown to encourage us and indeed inspire us to visit Athens to experience this incredible cultural heritage for ourselves.
The image on the right shows the reality for approximately 70% of all visitors to this amazing destination. We can’t help thinking “is this the experience that these people believed they were signing up ?”
Iguassu Falls, Brazil
On the left, we see the dream. We picture ourselves on this incredible walkway and we imagine the sounds and of the waterfalls gushing all around us.
On the right, we see the reality. People jostling for their photographs and it just looks stressful.
Ponte Della Paglia, Venice, Italy
We rarely see photo’s like the one on the right when we are planning our trips to Venice, yet this is the reality. To be honest, this is the reality all year round for the most part.
In these days of Covid19, we almost shudder when we view crowds like this given our present directives on social distancing.
Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
The image on the left may look familiar. It has been used a thousand times across the world to demonstrate the incredible natural beauty of Thailand. It is where the film, “The Beach” was set and over the years it’s popularity has practically destroyed it. In 2018, Maya Bay had to be closed down to all visitors due to the levels of damage inflicted upon it by mass tourism. It is hoped that it’s corals and nature will be able to heal during the period it has been closed.
Again, from the visitor’s perspective, are those in the photo on the right getting the experience they truly wanted? Do they understand the damage which their presence is inflicting upon Maya Bay?
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
In order to get the photograph on the left, you will most likely need to endure the experience on the right.
Ironically, approximately 2,000 miles west of here, there is an incredible, ancient city that is spread out over a vastly larger area than Angkor Wat, is protected by it’s UNESCO World Heritage Status and yet suffers from drastic under-tourism. Do you know what it is?
Levant Beach, Salou, Spain
On the left is a beach which we dream of walking upon. On the right, the experience depicted sends low season travellers packing.
What do you think? Should we try to be more honest about the experiences we will have in reality once we arrive in certain destinations at different times of the year? We would love to hear your thoughts.