Solo Travel As a Organization and Lifestyle Phenomenon

"The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready." - Henry David Thoreau

If the figures are any indication, many travellers agree with Thoreau. In increasing numbers, people are traveling rather than simply waiting for other people to join Reservations.com.

Solo travelers from the recent years have totaled 21 million in only the US and UK combined. According to a New York Times article in Nov. 2012, Internet searches for"solo travel packages" were up 60% over the previous year. The US Department of Commerce's Office of Travel & Tourism Industries ("OTTI") reported that a staggering 42 percent of U.S. citizens/residents that travelled overseas in 2011 traveled independently. Of these travelers that are individual, 38% traveled for leisure or to see relatives & friends ("VFR") and 66 percent for company. In the same way, inbound solo travelers from overseas totaled 36.2 percent. Of these, 23.6percent were on leisure trips and also 62.2percent for work. This lifestyle and business phenomenon has been growing exponentially.

Who would be solo travelers?

Solo travelers are a far wider group than just the only population. They're:

• Two-career couples on business travel or "DINK'S" (Dual Income No Kids).

• Those with relatives or friends overseas.

• Family members chasing different sports/hobbies overseas.

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Abercrombie & Kent's Jill Fawcett has clarified their solo passengers as:"often... married or have partners, but the spouses don't share the same interest... They want to travel with like-minded people and the small group gives them some interaction. Then they go back to the privacy of their own room... 25% of people who opt for our Extreme Adventure series are (also) solo travelers," she explained. "People feel a little more secure in a group if the destination is intimidating or there's a language barrier." Solo Travel Is Growing at a Rapid Rate | Phil Hoffman traveling site, 10/25/11.

Based on Grand Circle Corp chairman Alan Lewis,"Women are a growing force in the solo travel market... where the solo market has grown from about 20% to 25% of [Grand Circle's] overall bookings during the past five years."

Single travelers do continue to play a significant part in solo traveling. Their expansion is apparent from Europe and North America where people are marrying later and might be divorced, widowed or never married. According to a March 19, 2013 post entitled"The Growing Solo Travel Market", http://tourismintelligence.ca, typical unmarried families complete as follows:

• 35 percent of households in developed nations

• 40 percent in Finland and Norway (2011)

• 37 percent in the Netherlands (2011)

• 27 percent in the US (2010), 29 percent in the UK (2011) and 28 percent in Canada (2011).

How can solos traveling?

Solo travel might not automatically imply travel as a"group of one". Individuals may select

1. Escorted group tours

2. Independent tours

3. Traveling alone and choose their own hotels/tours

What Issues Confront Those Traveling Alone?

There are two chief challenges for travelers.

Reservations.com

• Attractive prices: Lodging, Tours and tours are costly regularly on dual occupancy. Most tours and cruises need one supplement for people traveling alone. Even though this isn't automatically 2X, the cost differential can be significant. This is most conspicuous in tour packages, especially cruises which have"2-for-the-price of 1" early booking promotionals. Because of this, those traveling may cover 3-4X couples/pairs.

• Top excellent accessibility and support: In a hectic vacation or tourist period, the unaccompanied traveler could be given less desired accommodations or tables . In reality, even 5 star resorts could be reluctant to bring a dinner booking for you even if the person traveler is a guest of this resort. This is very true about Saturday nights and vacations. The alternative might be sitting in the pub for supper however the dining area has empty tables. On cruises/river cruises or alternative excursions with"open seating", tables are generally installed for even amounts. The outcome? These travelers are confronted with a"standup" buffet or participating in sleuthing to find an accessible chair.

What's The Business Opportunity?

This journey happening is growing exponentially and represents an underserved market. The Chance for this industry is large, clarifying as follows:

Leisure travelers: They would be the biggest proportion of business revenues. But a smaller percent move alone for leisure excursions. The beneficiaries: airlines, hotels, tours, car and concierge services.

Business travelers: Although a small part of earnings, a larger percentage are on company. Furthermore, they could get a bigger budget than an person on holiday. Exactly the identical industry sections would help with the exception of excursions except as possible additions to an global trip.

VFR: Those visiting friends and family members might be met at the airport and also have access to local transport. While staying at a personal house, meals might not be removed as often as resort guests. Thus, such travelers will continue to create new revenue mainly for airlines however are not likely to fortify the present market for additional travel providers.

This business represents a largely untapped marketplace. Given the absolute numbers of wealthy professionals and company executives, with the ideal mixture of well-priced, high quality supplies, both sides gain. The travel sector increases their current earnings while those traveling will reach more aggressive pricing and access to high quality. It's a marketplace whose time has arrived.

Gary Klungreseth