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TTG Intelligence


Who really is going it alone?


New research by Souk Response into the emerging single traveller market shows that it’s a diverse group with different aims and ambitions for their holidays. Patrick Whyte reports


H


olidaying alone is no longer the preserve of the singleton, according to research conducted for TTG.


A study of 640 people by Souk


Response found that almost 79% of people over the age of 35 would “at least” consider holidaying alone. Of this number 69% were married or living with a partner, indicating that solo trips are not necessarily restricted to single people. For those who would definitely go on holiday alone, 45% would travel individually, while 40% would look to travel as part of a group. The growth of this market has been observed by Andrew Williams, managing director of Solo’s Holidays. Williams set up the company in the 1980s out of necessity – he was recently divorced and


Databox


couldn’t find a holiday company to cater for him. Now, Williams said, all kinds of people want to holiday alone. “It’s a real eclectic mix,” Williams told TTG. He gave the example of a surgeon’s wife who wanted to go on holiday but her husband was too busy to go with her. Instead she booked a two-week trip to Australia with Williams’ company. “We do a lot of specialist activity


holidays such as tennis, golf, skiing, trekking and walking, where the partner just doesn’t want to do it,” he added.


The study found people travel alone


for many reasons, but most popular were relaxation and exploration (81%).


“Sun holidays are our most popular. People still want to get away and relax,” Willams said.


Not looking for love Despite the widely held belief that singles holidays are for people looking for romance, Souk’s research found that only a minority of people looked for this on a holiday.


Only 10% of people who would


travel alone are looking for a casual relationship and even less (5%) are seeking love or a serious relationship. “It’s worth tour operators taking note that unless they are operating in a niche single market, promoting romance may be the wrong message to lead with as this is of little importance to the majority of people looking to travel alone, particularly women,” said Huw Williams,


79% 40%


PEOPLE OVER 35 WHO WOULD CONSIDER HOLIDAYING ALONE


looking for a fling


22 21.02.2013


director at Souk Response. City breaks, cultural breaks and


holidays focused on learning a new hobby or skill are the most popular reasons for single travellers to go on holiday (55%, 52% and 51% respectively). Learning a new hobby or skill was slightly more important for women with 57% as opposed to 44% of men. Williams added that the social


aspect was one of the biggest draws for Solo’s travellers. “It’s a mix of types of people from all walks of life. To me it’s the chemistry of that type of group that makes a holiday what it is,” he said. Souk’s research backs this up.


It suggests that people value diversity within their group with only a small percentage specifying they would like their group to be made up of people from a specific background, income band or for people to be of a particular employment/qualification status. Almost one in five respondents specified they had no set criteria on who they travel with.


2nd Floor, Magdalen House, 148 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU T: +44 (0)20 3117 0950 W: soukresponse.com


of respondents would travel as part of a group


81%


relaxation and exploration


1 in 10 Half travel for


want city breaks, culture and learning a new skill


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