The solo traveller market keeps on growing and ignoring this chunk of the market in your marketing efforts means you’re leaving money on the table. According to ABTA’s report 15% of holiday makers in the UK went it alone and this group of travellers is growing every year.
Who are they?
Travelling solo is hot and it no longer bears the stigma of being being Billy No Mates. Most solo travellers tend to be in the 55+ age bracket, having more money to spend, but solo travellers come in all ages and various demographics. Unlike what most people may think, solo travellers are not all single people and many of them actually do have relationships, but sometimes it's just with people that have different travel interests.
Why do they do it?
When you ask the solo traveller why they do it, they’ll say it gives them more freedom, they’re likely to meet more people while travelling and it’s more adventurous, they have to answer to no-one and can tailor their trip to their personal interests. It also gives them a sense of empowerment and a way to avoid FOMO on seeing the world if there is no one that can or wants to join them.
What do they want?
Every solo traveller is different. Some really like to go it alone, and all they need is a round-the-world ticket and some suggestions and tips at the most.
Others might feel more comfortable booking an organised trip. If that's the case there are plenty of organisations that offer trips that suit whatever interest and/or age group. Someone who is a bit more mature, won't want to find themselves on a boozy bus tour with 18-year olds and if they’re culture vultures, they wouldn't want to go on a tour that would suit an adrenaline junkie. If they appreciate a bit of freedom, look for tours that allow for free time.
Some solo travellers could be worried they’ll be the only one travelling solo on a tour, however many tour companies will know beforehand whether people are travelling in couples or on their own. There are also many operators that offer itineraries for solo or single travellers only. Sometimes it can be a bit more expensive to travel solo. Look out for supplement charges for single occupancy in hotel rooms and see whether other things like excursions, tours, welcome drinks, private receptions and dinners are included in the price. There are tour companies that don’t charge single supplements which will more than likely mean there will be other solo travellers on the same trip.