The rise in travelers going it alone is rising.
A survey of 2,300 U.S. adults conducted by travel marketing agency MMGY Global in July found:
- 25% of millennials planned on taking a solo trip before the end of the year;
- 17% of Generation Xers (born between 1965–80) planned on taking a solo trip before the end of the year;
- 20% of baby boomers (born between 1946–64) planned on taking a solo trip before the end of the year; and
- 18% of matures (born prior to 1945) planned on taking a solo trip before the end of the year.
In an even larger survey conducted across 25 countries by Millward Brown on behalf of the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Study:
- 24% of people traveled solo on their last overseas holiday, up from 15% in 2013; and
- 37% of first-time travelers traveled by themselves, up from 16% in 2013.
Solo, not single
The profile of the solo traveler is not the same as years’ past. Solo travelers are not necessarily single and looking for love on holiday. According to AARP, Americans 45 and older who have traveled alone 53% are married. Further, more than 80% of people 45 and older who have taken a solo trip are planning to take another one in the next year.
In an article published by The Wall Street Journal, solo trips often are focused around wellness or experiencing something new and life-changing.
The article mentioned Katherine Wintsch, chief executive of a consulting firm, who recently took a four-day holiday at a yoga retreat, and reported coming back home feeling relaxed and refreshed. Wintsch, who is a married working mother, left her children with her husband—she does the same for her husband who enjoys golf trips on his own.
Wellness tourism is a booming market—the Global Wellness Institute estimates the wellness travel sector at $494 billion.
In an article published by Spafinder Wellness 365, author Anne Dimon points out, “If there is one category of vacation that is an ideal fit with the concept of ‘traveling solo’ it is the ‘wellness vacation.’”
No business is better positioned for the destination of a solo traveler looking for a way to refresh than spas and wellness facilities. Can your spa afford to miss out on this potential client base?