Solo journey commercial enterprise is a massive business. According to the 2018 Solo Traveler Report from Mintel, a marketplace studies enterprise, 17 percent of adults took a vacation on their personal in the final five years. The study additionally located that 52 percent of solo travelers had been interested in taking an escorted tour. And the Adventure Travel Trade Association noted an upward push in the solo tour, with considered one of its individuals, which focuses on millennial tourists, reporting over 80 percent of its customers going it by myself.
And at the same time as the maximum solo tour involves individuals joining a group or taking a cruise alone, there are FIT opportunities inside the phase as nicely.
Steve Lima, U.S. Marketing Director for G Adventures, said the operator’s 2019 Agent Panel survey of almost 600 tour advisors revealed that 77 percentage defined solo journey as being in “high call for” this yr. Nearly half (48 percentage) said the demand has improved within the remaining year.
Over the past five years, said Lima, solo travelers have represented a dependable and growing group of his employer’s customers—up to sixty-two percent because of 2014. Nearly one in 3 Americans who e-book tours with G Adventures accomplish that on their own—and maximum are ladies.
While many solo travelers are part of companies, Lima said that G Adventures’ new TailorMade programs offer custom-built trips for one person or 20 in eleven locations. These permit retailers to customize and tailor trips to the precise desires of customers.
The tale is similar at sea. Camille Olivere, senior VP of income for Norwegian Cruise Line, said the road becomes the first to introduce a Studio class stateroom—on the Norwegian Epic in 2010. Designed and priced for unmarried vacationers, the cabins have to get admission to to a committed living room in which passengers can accumulate to socialize, taking part in unfastened snacks and liquids and a daily satisfied hour.
Paul Barry, chairman of Avanti Destinations, which sells most effective FITs and solely thru dealers, stated the corporation has seen a growth of extra than 30 percent in bookings for solo vacationers in all areas it sells (Europe, Asia, Latin America) compared with the same time final year, and mainly in Asia. He added that the price of excursions bought by solo vacationers is up to five percentage—making that section extra rewarding than ever for marketers.
Helping Agents Sell More Solo Travel
As a result of the developing call for, excursion operators and cruise traces are concentrated on solo vacationers and supporting marketers promote to that market. Tools consist of: waiving unmarried dietary supplements, ensuring that solo tourists are made to experience comfortable and welcome, and offering solo-simplest packages.
Abbey Schoenberg, VP of advertising and marketing and communications at Contiki, said that as the leading journey business enterprise for 18-to-35-year-olds, Contiki is deeply linked to the growing solo tourist demographic. In truth, she stated, the majority of clients journey on my own (fifty-six percent), up to four percent from 2018.
Contiki suits vacationers with roommates at no additional cost, or vacationers can opt to have their own rooms for a barely higher rate. Pre-trip, the operator’s My Contiki function allows customers to create a profile and chat with fellow tour participants before they take off, expanding the social factor of the experience past the days of the tour.
Lauren McIsaac, director of product marketing for Vantage Deluxe World Travel, said kind of 10 to 20 percent of its customers travel independently, with solo vacationers on every experience. The organization’s Vantage Cruise Line has had committed solo cabins since it was released.
McIsaac stated a big selling factor for Vantage is that on maximum departures, there are zero single supplements. On others, the complement is “very low.” She delivered that Vantage will offer 16 solo-only land departures for 2020 on eight journeys—including Mongolia, India, Australia, and two African safaris.
Oliver said guests who reserve a Studio avoid paying a single complement rate. Today, seven ships function Studios, inclusive of the Norwegian Encore, to launch in November.
Making Solo Travelers Comfortable
Schoenberg stated Contiki is amazing for solo vacationers because of the social detail of its trips. Trip managers, she stated, encourage socializing and offer help and information to ensure each traveler feels secure and at ease.
On Vantage Cruise Line sailings, McIsaac said, the crew organizes solo-connection mixers to provide a calming placing to satisfy and mingle with fellow solo travelers. In addition, the Adventure Leader or Cruise Director makes certain independent travelers sense welcomed and engaged.
Who is the Solo Traveler?
While solo tourists do tend to be ladies, stated McIsaac, there is additionally a massive contingent of fellows. And, she stated, many solo travelers are married however travel without their spouses for a diffusion of reasons.
Oliver said Studio cabins aren’t only for singles however for people who pick their own committed space at a value—perhaps friends who do now not want to share a stateroom or one accomplice who has extra excursion time than the opposite.
Lima stated small-group tour lends itself obviously to the solo vacationer—specifically, girls—because of the feel of security, camaraderie, and possibility it offers individuals who can also have always dreamed of experiencing a vacation spot and don’t need to miss out due to the fact they don’t have or need a plus-one.