Solo travel is on the rise as a rising variety of holidaymakers go for journeys that permit them to “do what they want”. Around 15% of travellers took a visit on their very own within the final 12 months, in accordance with the Association of British Travel Agents’ (Abta) 2018 holiday habits report. The determine is up from 12% final 12 months and 6% in 2011.
The age vary that confirmed the largest improve was that of 35-44 12 months olds, with greater than 16% taking a visit alone: the determine for 2017 was simply 5%. Having the chance to do no matter they needed was the commonest motive given by three-quarters of individuals surveyed in all age teams, whereas taking trip and assembly new individuals have turn into much less vital, in accordance with the report.
The upward development over the past decade is attributed to improved know-how and a rising variety of apps (alongside social media) that allow travellers to navigate the world with extra ease and confidence alone: from immediate language translation, free global messaging and different roaming choices, to apps that join individuals with different solo travellers or native hosts for dinner, excursions or a mattress for the evening.
“Going on holiday by yourself means you don’t have to compromise on your choice of destination, your itinerary or the activities you take part in,” mentioned Mark Tanzer, chief govt for Abta. “Travel companies have responded to demand by offering a range of options for people booking by themselves.”
Tour operators that have elevated the variety of journeys focused particularly at solo travellers embrace Intrepid Travel, which doubled its providing of impartial journeys this 12 months and says “solos” now signify 50% of its prospects. Its small group excursions for solo travellers intention to supply a “ready-made group of friends” .
Independent travellers additionally make up half of journey tour operator Explore’s prospects – which prompted it to scrap its single occupancy charges on greater than 60 of its group journeys operating in June. Other travel firms providing excursions for impartial travel and group journeys embrace G Adventures, STA and Saga.
Abta reported that, total, the variety of British individuals taking a holiday remained excessive, with 86% of respondents taking a holiday at home or overseas within the 12 months to August 2018 (it was 87% in 2017). Package holidays noticed a minor drop, although stay a preferred selection for holidays overseas (49%, down from 51% final 12 months). City breaks have been nonetheless the preferred sort of journey: 48% of these surveyed having taken one this 12 months, carefully adopted by seashore holidays (40%).
Meanwhile, VisitBritain revealed that its 2020 goal of 40 million inbound guests might be met two years early. It now expects 40.9 million individuals to go to in 2018 (up from 39.9 million in 2017).
Despite the optimistic figures from Abta, the British vacationer authority chairman Steve Ridgway’s response had a notice of warning, in mild of Brexit:
“We face a number of significant challenges – the most important, the UK’s departure from the European Union. While we address the initial fluctuations in currency and EU worker concerns, we soon will need to deal with the longer-term realities. We want to ensure that the future relationship keeps our borders as frictionless as possible for visitors, our aviation as connected as ever and our economic stability on track – because tourism depends on this.”