While overall travel continues its rebound, traveling solo is one of the biggest post-pandemic travel trends.
Whether it’s the pent-up yen for adventure, the hunger to expand their cloistered world, or the need for self-reflection, many travelers aren’t waiting around for friends and family and are hitting the road on their own.
And this trend is picking up steam across all generations, with a particularly large uptick in female solo travel.
A survey conducted by Kayak found that more than a third of adults had traveled alone since travel restrictions began easing at the beginning of 2022. Contiki, a travel agency geared to the 18 to 35-year-old market, reported that 49% of the bookings made for 2022 were single bookings.
And female solo travel is one of the fastest-growing markets in the travel industry in years. Travel companies marketing exclusively to women have reported over a 200% increase in inquiries.
How should hotels cater to this emerging market? See some suggestions below.
Host Group Activities and Events
While solo travelers desire the freedom to make their own schedule, they also appreciate the opportunity to join a new group for a unique experience.
Offering activities and events at your property will often appeal to the solo traveler. These will vary based on your location and clientele but know your guests so you can better target their interests.
Consider options such as pool parties, cocktail hours, and quiz nights for mingling, or film screenings, cooking classes, and local performances for travelers to interested to explore the local culture.
Solo travelers are joining guided tours at rapidly growing rates. If your property doesn’t offer tours, collaborate with local companies that do. Make your property a check-in point for trips and excursions.
Create Communal Spaces
Solo travelers enjoy their independence but gravitate to co-working and co-living spaces when they are well designed–spaces offering privacy but opportunities for social interaction.
Think flexible lounge spaces, relaxed seating, communal tables, and entertainment options (like board games and playing cards).
Promote your Local Social Scene
Solo travelers like to immerse themselves in a unique culture or community. Be sure to highlight the local hot spots and events that would appeal to solo travelers including neighborhood markets and local concerts and events. (Think Wurstfest, Sandfest, Rodeos, Chili cookoffs, or Wiener dog Races).
Keep a current calendar of events available to suggest to your solo guests–with your concierge, at the front desk, in the rooms, or on your website.
Highlight Health and Wellness Options
Health and Wellness is a big draw for many solo travelers. Consider offering classes in yoga, meditation, nutrition, and aromatherapy, or group activities including hiking, biking, and bird watching.
Female Solo Travel
American women ranked highest in frequent solo travel where most are likely to take three or more trips a year, and hotels would be wise to cater to this market.
Consider discounts on spa packages, classes, and guided tours.
Safety is key, aside from highlighting your Covid protocols, be sure to highlight your safety features from CCTV surveillance to well-lit parking areas, hallways, and stairwells, to dedicated speed dial emergency numbers on room or hallway phones.
Some hotels offer dedicated floors for solo female travelers.
Make sure your sit-at-the-bar dining is relaxed and inviting and your menu and drink options have variety. Also, take the offerings in your TV/movie channels into consideration.
Travels with Charley
Pets are often the solo traveler’s companion of choice. If you offer pet-friendly accommodations and special pet features, make sure to promote these.
Make sure you offer rates justified for a solo traveler.
Market your Solo Traveler Offerings
Don’t forget to highlight your solo travel offerings in your marketing content. While you won’t focus exclusively on solo travelers, be sure they are well represented in all your media.
A Booking.com study notes 34% of respondents in a recent survey said solo travel is among the “top five trips they have already been on and would like to go on again.” With the continuous growth of Bleisure travel (business plus leisure), Work-from-Hotel, and longer staycations, the solo traveler is here to stay. So make them feel welcome to!