As Europe clocks one of the busiest summers it’s seen in years, clients looking to avoid crowds, travel delays, and baggage hassles on their vacation might want to reconsider the season. Independent travel retailer Avanti Destinations believes their “Go365” campaign will aid travel advisors in warming clients to the idea of year-round travel opportunities, including cold-weather and off-peak trips.
Rather than leaning toward the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, the Go365 campaign focuses specifically on winter travel to five selected European countries: Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom. While Christmas markets are already a huge draw on European river cruises in November and December, Avanti has compiled a variety of reasons to visit these destinations from October through March and resources for travel advisors to help plan their clients’ ultimate off-season adventures.
The ski resorts of the French Alps and the stunning Dolomites are world-class reasons to head to France or Italy in the winter. If clients don’t ski or care about apres-ski, maybe the peaceful winter frost over the Scottish Highlands will invite them to cozy up near the fireplace of an inn or local pub — many “Game of Thrones” filming locations are throughout the UK and remain a draw for tourists. Or rethink European winters altogether and encourage your clients to head to luminous Spain for a temperate climate and plenty of sunshine whether they are walking seaside or in the mountains.
Festivals are another great tool to advertise a destination during a particular time of year. There is a celebration to fit every taste, from food, beer, and wine to music and film or religious and cultural festivals. A few examples for 2023 include Mozart Week in Salzburg, Austria, from January 27 to February 6; the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival in Iceland from February 3 to 6; Burns’ Night across Scotland from January 22 to 30; the Dijon International and Gastronomic Fair in France from November 1 to 13; and of course, Carnival celebrations in various countries (there is a famous one in Venice) between February and March.
In addition to the festive portions of the off-season, the crowds reliably thin around major attractions; reservations at coveted dining establishments are more easily attainable; and perhaps best of all, winter in Europe brings with it off-season pricing. A variety of winter trips have been curated by Avanti, including top accommodations and private tours, in each of the five countries and regions mentioned.
So yes, clients will still want to take that summer vacation to Greece or London, but Avanti invites you to create your own winter travel campaign this year. After a heated summer of airport delays and record-high gas prices, it might be simpler than you think to sell somewhere cool and quiet.