As “Over-Tourism” Concerns Mount, Ovation Travel Group Offers Sustainable Strategies to Its Travelers

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Mindful of tourism’s impact on popular destinations, Ovation seeks to mitigate harmful effects while enhancing each travel experience.

As more travelers are becoming aware of that plight, an increasing number of Ovation Travel Group’s leisure clientele is actively seeking out our luxury leisure advisors’ counsel on how to travel more responsibly and sustainably.

Premier international destinations from Barcelona to Bali have come under increasing pressure from those living there to curb runaway tourism after feeling the strains of what is now commonly referred to as “over-tourism.” Today, Ovation Travel Group – one of the largest independently owned travel management and luxury leisure travel companies headquartered in the United States – is providing strategies for mitigating over-tourism while ensuring their clients enjoy experiences of a lifetime while traveling responsibly.

“Over the course of the last several years, concerns regarding ‘over-tourism’ have risen dramatically, particularly among local citizenry whose livelihoods and ways of life are at stake when tourists overwhelm their place of residence,” explained Paul Metselaar, CEO and Chairman of Ovation Travel Group. “As more travelers are becoming aware of that plight, an increasing number of Ovation Travel Group’s leisure clientele is actively seeking out our luxury leisure advisors’ counsel on how to travel more responsibly and sustainably.”

“While world-class destinations like Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Florence and Venice are among those that have been in the news – due to increased perceptions that tourism seems out of control – they are just four of many popular places globally that have begun imposing measures to limit the number of tourists who can visit at once,” noted Gina Gabbard, Senior Vice President of Leisure & Independent Advisors. “In Ovation advisors’ quest to be respectful and considerate of those who live in these places, they are now proactively recommending common sense strategies to their clients to improve sustainability while deepening their enjoyment.”

Some of Over-Tourism’s Root Causes
“In recent years, travel has become increasingly easier, less expensive and more accessible,” said Limor Decter, Ovation Luxury Travel Advisor and Concierge, “Social media has also greatly contributed to the popularity and wanderlust of many destinations.”

“Tourism boards did such a great job that everyone around the globe wants to be in places like Florence and Venice in the summer. These old cities are simply not equipped to handle the influx of people, let alone the cruise ships that have also increased the daytime visitors to numerous other ancient cities,” stated Andrew Steinberg, Ovation Luxury Travel Concierge. “These factors make the experience less romantic, less intimate and more stressful.”

Strategies to Mitigate Over-Tourism
Travel Off-Season – “My best tip to travelers, which can help reduce over-tourism, is to travel during off-peak times. It can be mutually beneficial for both the traveler and the destination. For the traveler, prices are more competitive, there is usually better access to tickets and sights even with short notice, and there are shorter lines and more flexibility with schedule changes. Plus, travelers are more likely to bump into locals than other travelers.” – Sylvia Lebovitch, Ovation Luxury Travel Advisor.

Educate Yourself – “I want my clients to travel far and wide, but I also want them to be mindful and socially conscious wherever they go. It is important for clients to be educated on the local culture and customs so they can respect the local citizens.” – Limor Decter

Move Around Like a Local – “I encourage my clients to take mass transit like trams and metro service. Not only is it sometimes easier to get around this way and see things you otherwise might have missed, but it also helps to relieve street congestion and also encourages a smaller carbon footprint.” – Vicky Metcalfe, Ovation Executive Travel Specialist

Immerse Yourself – “I also like to recommend less moving around within a trip. I truly believe in quality over quantity when it comes to travel. I urge clients to immerse themselves in the culture and support local shops as opposed to just visiting touristy sights to tick off a bucket list.” – Sylvia Lebovitch

Interact with Locals – “When I plan my clients’ itineraries, I strive to create authentic experiences and interactions with locals so they can get a glimpse of another lifestyle and culture. I find these interactions also foster respect, humility and gratitude.” – Limor Decter

Escape the City Center – “Get out of the center of town and experience parts of your destination that can be just as wonderful, but less congested.” – Vicky Metcalfe

Visit Surrounding Regions – “I like suggesting less popular or lesser known locations for the seasoned traveler to minimize the impact of over-tourism.” – Limor Decter

For counsel and assistance with luxury vacations globally, travelers are invited to tap into the expertise of Ovation Travel Group’s experienced advisors by calling 800.977.5893 or emailing vacations@ovationtravel.com. Ovation’s luxury leisure travel division is also inviting independent advisors to learn how to qualify for its program by visiting https://www.ovationtravel.com/become-an-independent.

About Ovation
Ovation Travel Group, whose flagship brand, Lawyers Travel, began operations over 35 years ago, is one of the largest independently owned travel companies headquartered in the US. Ovation is a $1.4 billion travel company with travel consultants in more than 30 locations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom. Ovation is the largest affiliate of BCD Travel and utilizes BCD’s global network to fulfill its clients’ travel programs across the globe. With over 700 employees and over 200 independent travel advisors, Ovation provides business travel services, bespoke luxury travel experiences and meeting and special events planning for over 700 professional organizations and over 200,000 travelers. For more information, please visit https://www.ovationtravel.com.

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