A 2019 non-gender specific study found that 76% of travelers had gone on a solo trip or were considering going.
Among women, the interest is even higher and searches for the term “solo female travel” had increased 6 fold during the 4 years preceding the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic (according to Google trends. Pandemic woes further propelled this type of travel and cemented the interest in independent and individual travel.
These numbers are in stark contrast with the challenges, worries and experiences of women traveling solo. Concerns for safety, misleading advertising or lack of an offer that is sensitive to their needs present relevant opportunities for travel companies who take the lead.
Why solo female travelers should matter to your travel business
The solo female travel segment is large and booming. Women make the overwhelming majority of travel bookings, for themselves, for their families, for their parents, for their colleagues and for their friends, and represent 70% of the hotel website visits. They are the real travel influencers.
Survey respondent: “Employ more women in executive roles at travel companies so they actually know what it’s like to travel as a woman. Without a seat at the table, decisions are made about us, not with us.”
The narrative in travel is focused on couples and families and does not speak to the solo traveler, let alone the solo female traveler. Therein lies an enormous opportunity for savvy brands to get to know us better and to offer products that understand our challenges.
Participants in the Solo Female Travel Survey
We wanted to compare the preferences and attitudes of solo female travelers versus those of women who had not traveled solo yet but wanted to, in order to better understand perceptions and barriers.
Respondents were split between women who had traveled solo and those who had not traveled solo before but wanted to, and each was asked to fill a unique list of questions, with the objective to:
- Provide the travel industry with accurate, updated and detailed solo travel insights, specifically of the needs, preferences, behaviors and challenges of solo female travelers;
- Shed more light into the attitudes of solo female travelers across the world, globally and by region, age group and experience solo traveling, towards marketing efforts, travel providers and destinations.
- Understand the travel preferences of solo female travelers and help the travel industry make data-based decisions on product launches, product details and pricing with solo travel statistics and facts.
The survey for women who have already traveled solo had 29 questions, which covered socio-demographic indicators, travel preferences, solo travel preferences, behaviors and attitudes. Survey respondents were from all age groups, nationalities, income levels, solo travel experience, marital statuses and profiles.
Read the full survey results here
Run by Solo Female Travelers (FIRST FB group for women who travel solo) and Shefari, the Solo Female Travel Survey was launched at the end of 2020 to bridge the gap between decision makers, the travel industry and women traveling solo.
It is the largest, most comprehensive and only global research study on solo female travel trends, preferences and behaviors published, and aims to shed more light on the solo female travel experience in an effort to provide a platform for dialogue and a path towards normalizing solo travel as a woman.
The survey will be run annually to track changes in perceptions, attitudes, behaviors and preferences over time.