Why the solo travel market deserves your attention
Solo travel certainly isn’t a new concept. Intrepid explorers have been traveling alone for decades, from famous wanderers to renowned writers. But today’s traveler is also looking to travel solo, and this huge market is growing fast.
As we’ve written about before, data is your friend. Travel agents need to keep up with current trends, so here are a few surprising statistics about solo travel you should bear in mind. For more in-depth tips and insights, download our eBook: Solo travel – everything travel advisors need to know
The fact that solo travelers make up almost a fifth of the entire global market is astonishing, but – if you’ve been paying attention – it shouldn’t be a surprise. The trend of traveling alone has been on the rise for some time (see below for more fascinating figures on that), and so tour operators and holiday companies have even begun to specialize in products for solo travelers.
Solo travelers aren’t always alone, either. A huge portion of them are booking escorted tours so they can meet and explore the world with like-minded travelers.
Studies show that over three-quarters of travelers want to go solo. This statistic, taken from an extensive report that surveyed over 21,000 people, is true regardless of age, gender or nationality. Solo travel is universal, it seems, and there’s a taste for it across all generations.
In fact, solo travel has been visibly growing as a trend for the last decade, and the numbers alone speak for themselves. Google researches are at an all-time high, there are over 5.5 million posts using #solotravel on Instagram and Pinterest reported an astonishing 600% growth in the topic on their site from 2017 to 2018.
Women are leading the charge for solo travel – with 85% of those going it alone identifying as female. Most women who travel this way say they do so for the independence and freedom they experience when going solo, but concerns around safety, costs, and loneliness are big concerns for this demographic.
There are ways travel advisors can help travelers mitigate these issues, though, such as booking group tours or excursions to combat the fear of loneliness or selling trips without single supplements.
Solo travelers will take long weekends and two-week vacations, but rather surprisingly the average trip length for those going it alone is 19 days. This presents a great opportunity for travel advisors, as solo travelers going away for extended periods of time are likely to need greater support.
They might want to stay at multiple hotels, need numerous transfers and want to try activities and excursions in the various different cities they visit – all of which can be booked by travel advisors.
While a good portion of travelers are still using travel advisors despite the rise of online booking engines, when it comes to solo travel, agents get less of the market share. With 11% of people booking their solo trips with a travel agency or advisor, it seems there’s plenty of untapped potential customers for agents in this sector.
The other 89% of solo travelers are likely booking independently, and possibly online, so to capture this potential client base, agents need to ensure they’re providing the right messaging and marketing to the right demographics. Becoming an expert in solo travel destinations or understanding what this group of travelers needs better is the key to capturing more of the market.
These stats present some interesting insights into the solo travel market and prove that it’s a sector well worth targeting. But for the best insights and actionable tips, download our latest eBook to find out everything travel agents need to know about solo travel.
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