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TTG Features Touring & Adventure Going solo


The solos market isn’t just booming among over-50s. With more younger travellers going it alone, Abigail Healy asks the operators for their tips and top tour recommendations


Young people are increasingly choosing to travel solo A 62


ccording to Abta’s Holiday Habits Survey 2017, released last August, one in nine people


said they took a solo holiday in the last year. While the highest proportion (one in six) was perhaps unsurprisingly the over-65s, the next age group taking the most solo trips was 18 to 24-year-olds (one in eight) – with an increase of 1.8% year-on-year. Whether it’s wanderlust that isn’t


shared by friends or family, better technology offering improved safety or a desire for independence, solo travel among younger people is rising and operators have a vast range of product to appeal to them.


A growing trend Travel 2’s senior product and commercial manager: touring, Mark


22.02.2018


Henderson, says: “The rise of young solo travellers is well documented. Traditionally, it would have been students taking a year out before commencing university life or taking a break before starting their chosen careers. However, with the recent trend towards more experiential pastimes, the young solo travelling option is on the rise.” It’s a similar story at Intrepid.


Andrew Turner, head of industry sales, says: “Whilst our trips cater to a wide variety of different ages, we’ve seen a 20% increase year-on- year in travellers aged 21-30 joining our trips, with over half of Intrepid travellers choosing to travel solo.” Contiki, which specialises in travel


for 18-35s, is also recording a rise in customers choosing to go it alone. Donna Jeavons, sales and marketing


Touring in Berlin


director at Contiki UK, says: “In 2017, 62% of our travellers went solo, a 12% increase on 2010.” She adds that the operator’s group travel product is proving particularly appealing to women. “We are seeing


a particular rise in young female solo travellers – 68% of our solo travellers are female; a tour is a great way to explore solo whilst having the safety and security of a group.” G Adventures’ managing director


Brian Young, concurs. “Safety and security, which comes as part of travelling with a group, are particularly important to our female travellers, who make up over 60% of our UK solo numbers,” he says.


Taste for adventure So there’s a growing desire among younger customers to travel more independently, but what type of product appeals to them? Jeavons reveals that Contiki is seeing a trend in its solo customers becoming more adventurous. “For the first time in 2017 the number of our solo travellers heading to non- European countries was higher than those travelling to or within Europe, with Asia, the USA and Canada being the most popular long-haul destinations,” she adds. Intrepid’s Turner also highlights Asia with the operator’s Beautiful Bali trip proving popular with younger customers. “The solo-only departures for this itinerary have already sold out for this year,” he says. Turner also highlights Morocco as a hotspot for the demographic: “We have recently added more departure dates for the Best of Morocco – For Solo Travellers itinerary to meet the high demand of clients wanting to travel in this style.” G Adventures has noted the popularity of Asian


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