More women are exploring the world on their own, according to new research from Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).
Why the recent boost in solo female travel? Why not! With more hotels offering women-only floors and providing amenities - like in-room exercise equipment and popular women's magazines - traveling alone isn't nearly as intimidating for women as it once was.
And hotels are the ones that stand to benefit mostly from this trend.
Take Kimpton Hotels for example. The trendy US-based boutique brand's "Forgot it? We got it!" campaign ensures that all travelers have access to the amenities that are often forgotten about when packing, like hair straighteners, curling irons and nail files for women.
The Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills recently introduced a new, in-room exercise program with a virtual personal trainer so you can work out in privacy, a nice value-add for women wanting a little bit of exclusivity when they are on the road.
Marriott's Renaissance hotels offer "Navigator" - a concierge program that designs day trips and excursions tailored to each traveler. The bottom line: women, overall, feel safer traveling alone today, much in part of the efforts that hotels are making to provide certain securities at every turn.
According to the research from SLH, the number of single occupant females booking rooms across their portfolio of hotels in the US, UK and China, has seen steady increase since 2011. Between 2011 and 2012, SLH saw a "surge in lone female bookings with a 53 percent increase in demand for rooms," as reported in the UK's Daily Mail.
As for where women are traveling, SLH says its hotels in the UK and US were the most popular among solo female travelers, as well as male travelers. Australia and Hong Kong were close behind for solo women guests.
Overall, however, the trend in solo female travelers is one worth watching, but also accommodating. As women become more confident in exploring on their own, they'll look to hotels that offer the best options for location, security and amenities.
Here are a few things hotels can do to boost their presence to women travelers:
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- Ensure solo female guests are placed on a women-only floor at the hotel (if they prefer) or allow them to choose the room on the floor where they feel the safest.
- Place magazines that are directly catered to women in the guest room
- Offer a trip planner or car service for solo women travelers to ensure they get around safely
- Create packages that appeal, like local shopping tours, spa or golf days
Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com
I am often interviewed about hotels and women. Here is our take: Websites should stress the neighborhood of the hotel. Google street level pix?
Common tables in the restaurant work well for women solo travelers. Fitness areas that are not isolated and empty are used more happily by women. More training of hotel staff, as in do NOT use a guest's first name Living lobbies in which a solo woman can sit, read the paper, have a drink and not feel she is prey in the bar. Separate floors tells a woman that the hotel has dangerous male guests. We need an overall hotel experience that says our area and our staff want you as a guest.Phyllis Stoller
President of The Women's Travel Group