Solo Travel Growing and Going Just About Anywhere
One of the hottest topics this year has been solo travel.
Agents can expect to see not only a continued rise in the demand from solo travelers, but also a dramatic uptick in the supply of products catering to this market, with flashy price incentives that sharply reduce or eliminate the single supplements that have dogged solo travelers for far too long.
Unpredictability or spontaneity are also factors: Solo travelers look for more flexibility while traveling, letting factors like the weather or their mood influence their choices upon arrival at a destination.
According to data from Solo Traveler, which is commandeered by Janice Waugh and Tracey Nesbitt, the number of solo travelers increased on its platform from 31% to 38% in 2018.
They cite the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) effect among solo travelers as a strong motivating force. While travelers share their travel experiences through social media channels, they trigger wanderlust and FOMO from their peers. Experiences deemed as “insta-worthy activities” dominated Solo Traveler’s platform.
“We foresee the growing trend of short, live streaming videos on social media triggering travel interests, as well; these habits show no sign of slowing down, and will fuel travelers’ desires for insta-worthy experiences,” said Nesbitt.
Tour operators are taking notice. Scott Wiseman, president of Travel Impressions said: “We have noticed an upward trend for individuals booking solo trips, particularly for travel during the summer months. Many of our escorted experiences throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Persian Gulf have been popular for solo vacationers, as it allows individuals to travel within a group of passengers instead of experiencing these destinations alone.”
A spokesperson at Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) said that small group escorted travel is a natural fit for solo travelers. Guests can confidently travel to places where cultural or language differences might make them hesitant to explore on their own.
A&K has been reaching this market through its small group escorted travel products. All are sold with solo discounts that can save travelers 50% on the single supplement on select departures, points out Stefanie Schmudde, vice president for product development & operations.
“Surprisingly, the majority of solo guests are married, but their partner may not be interested in the destination — or is unable to travel due to business or family commitments,” said Schmudde.
Among the most popular solo traveler choices are safaris in East or Southern Africa. Guest feedback indicates they appreciate the “me time” between scheduled morning and afternoon game drives, so they can be pampered at the spa, or read a book by the pool, but it’s not a solitary experience.
Read the full article here: Travel Market Report