Travel Trend: Marketing to Solo Travelers
Traveling alone is a unique and exciting experience that everyone from Baby Boomers to Gen Zers is eager to have, creating a valuable opportunity for tour and activity operators.
Marketing to solo travelers is a great way to draw in new business and consider providing additional services to support this niche audience.
This guide will fill you in on why people travel solo, which demographics are most likely to participate in this trend, and how you can market your tours and activities to these travelers.
Who Travels Solo?
Wondering who’s behind the solo travel trend? You might be surprised.
According to a Klook survey, 76% of people have either traveled alone or are considering it, regardless of nationality, age, or gender.
In other words, everybody’s hopping on this trend! But there are a few demographics in particular who are taking the lead when it comes to solo travel.
Did you know that more women than men travel alone? Of the solo travelers who registered with Overseas Adventure Travel, 85% of those people are women. Pinterest has also seen a 350% increase in women pinning articles in the solo female travel category.
The rise of solo female travelers marks a shift in the travel industry that tour and activity operators can’t afford to ignore. Female travel is unique because it presents different challenges to be aware of. For example, one of the biggest concerns for female travelers is safety, including making sure their transportation and accommodations are arranged ahead of time.
Tour and activity operators can attract female guests by providing transportation options (perhaps as a tour add-on) and offering guidance about the area for solo travelers. Other ways to reach potential bookers include showing reviews written by women and creating blog posts about solo travel in your area.
Millennial & Gen Z Travelers
While Baby Boomers and people of older generations do travel solo, members of the Millenial and Gen Z generations make up a larger percentage of people who travel alone.
According to a Princeton Survey Research Associates study, 58% of Millennials worldwide are willing to travel alone, compared to 47% of older generations.
But Gen Z is the group to focus on when it comes to furthering the solo travel trend. Gen Z is already predicted to become the largest generation of consumers by 2022, and they’re well on track to prioritizing solo travel.
The new Destination Gen Z report from Booking.com found that independence is a top priority for people aged 16 to 24, with 34% planning solo travel. Gen Z ranks travel as more important than technology and food and beverage experiences in terms of spending options. A recent Expedia survey also found that if they had to choose between a travel companion and their mobile phone, 33% of Americans would travel solo with just their device.
For Millennials and Gen Z travelers, meeting other people plays a big role in choosing to travel solo. To cater to these travelers, consider removing your two-person booking minimum from your popular tours or activities, or even offer a discount for solo travelers.
Other options like transportation and city maps and guides are especially attractive to people traveling by themselves. You could also create programs to buddy up solo travelers on your tours and activities to appear more welcoming to those traveling alone. Check out our guide to marketing to Millennial and Gen Z travelers for more ideas.
Why Do People Travel Alone?
Each person is different, but one of the biggest reasons people travel solo is simply to enjoy the freedom to do whatever they want during their trip. Besides that well-deserved alone time, here are a few more reasons to plan a trip all for yourself.
- There’s no need to wait for other people. According to Solo Travel, 59% of people want to see the world and don’t want to wait for anyone else. Imagine you’re planning a trip and none of your friends or family members can come because they don’t have the funds saved up, or they need to wait until it’s more convenient for them to take time off of work. Solo travel offers the freedom to drop everything and book a flight to the destination of your choice.
- Solo travelers choose where they want to go. Gone are the days of planning your itinerary around someone else’s interests. Solo travelers enjoy the luxury of doing exactly what they want and going wherever they want to go without having to worry about anyone else’s needs.
- Travel to meet other singles. Many solo travelers set out with the purpose of meeting other like-minded people. Whether they’re seeking a love connection or just hoping to meet the locals, solo travel is a great way to meet people and form new friendships.
- Travel to relax. One of the best aspects of solo travel is that the traveler can take as much downtime as they want without feeling pressured by companions to follow an itinerary. They can read, reflect, visit a museum, or just take a nap.
How to Market Tours & Activities to Solo Travelers
Now that you know more about the solo travel trend, consider the ways you can market to this niche audience and increase your bookings.
When it comes to booking tours and activities, almost 50% of solo travelers prefer to take guided tours (Solo Traveler).
Here’s what you can do to make your company stand out and catch the attention of solo travelers.
- Create travel guides and blog posts specifically for solo travelers. Become a resource for solo travelers by providing information they’d like to see. Cover topics such as best places in the area to meet locals, a guide to getting around the city, tips for how to meet people while traveling, safe accommodation recommendations, foreign language tips for traveling solo, and more.
- Highlight why your tours and activities are great for solo travelers. Why should solo travelers take a tour with you? Perhaps your tour guides are outgoing and eager to offer travel recommendations. Maybe your tours are particularly popular with solo travelers already. Or perhaps you offer an all-inclusive itinerary with food, transportation, and other extras that make trip planning easy.
- Offer transportation options. Solo travelers have added stress when it comes to traveling alone. Car rentals can be expensive, and some solo travelers don’t feel safe taking taxis by themselves. Offering transportation to and from your tour or activity location helps sweeten the deal for solo travelers.
- Feature reviews from solo travelers on your website. If you know of any solo travelers who have already participated in your tours and activities, ask them to leave a review of your experience and share it on your website for other solo travelers to see. This will give them the confidence that your tour is worth booking!
- Design a tour specifically for solo travelers. Cater to solo travelers by offering a tour just for them! Give them the chance to meet other like-minded individuals without the pressure of having to book with a friend or family member. This tour could be a similar version of your most popular tour that includes happy hour with other solo travelers or another type of social event before or after the tour.
- Reach solo travelers through personalized content. Create marketing initiatives specifically geared toward solo travelers, such as email newsletters, pay-per-click advertisements, social media posts, and more. Learn how to create personalized content in this guide.
Looking for more travel trends and industry insights? From practicing ecotourism to marketing to families and using video to promote your tours and activities, there are so many ways to keep up with the latest happenings in the world of travel. Check out more travel trends and other insights here.