Solo travel is already on the rise, and it’s the next big thing. In this article we are going to walk you through why you need to be looking at the solo traveller market for your SA business In 2017, it was reported by Hostelworld that there was a 42% increase in solo bookings over the previous 2 years. Solo travel was a major 2019 trend, according to booking platform Klook. According to the 2018 date, more and more women and baby boomers are opting to travel alone.
Read on to find out how you can take advantage of this solo travel trend and the solo traveller market, so you can find out how to optimise your business and get more bookings from a totally new demographic.
More than ever before in history, solo travellers are female. The reasons for this are vast but include technological improvements and social progress. For you, it means you can increase your bookings and know the solo traveller market. After knowing that a lot, if not most, of your solo travellers, will be ladies, will allow you to tailor your services, experiences and offers to women’s interests.
If you’re a regular reader of Boostly, you will know that I am all for leaving gift baskets for guests. But knowing you will have a female solo traveller, will allow you to prepare a gift basket specifically aimed at women. For example, you could include coupons to woman-focused businesses, female hygienic supplies, chocolate, cosmetics, and more.
Women may feel they face more safety challenges while travelling than man. Journeywomen, an online travel resource, suggest that women keep the door to their room deadbolted, and avoid underground parking lots. Taking from these ideas, you could offer your female solo guests free valet parking, and installing one-way peepholes in your rooms. According to Travel + Leisure, one thing that The Grange does is to offer women, female-only staff, while they are travelling solo.
Host extra social events
Travelling alone is certainly a thrill. You can make your own schedule, nobody tells you where to go, and you never have to do anything you don’t want to. However, a solo traveller is likely to get a bit lonely too, after the novelty wears off.
This is where you can really optimise on the solo traveller market. You can draw singletons out for social activities with other travellers if you have a central area. For example, you can organise a dance class, movie night, or meet and greet that can give your guests the local flavour they crave while also putting them in touch with others. They won’t just remember you for your great service, but for the friendships that they made whilst staying with you. Hospitalities that offer group activities, like Thai cooking classes and kitesurfing, leave an impression, according to Hostelworld. On top of this, your guests might even want to come back to meet up with their new travel buddies in the future.
Depending on where you are in the world, you could really increase your bookings due to solo travel. Intrepid shows that people don’t actually want to travel in proper isolation, which is why they offer group tours for people travelling by themselves. It is sure to be a hit to offer extras that bring singletons together. Consider how organising an activity will bring in those extra bookings.
Make singleton room bookings attractive
Most hospitality businesses charge by the room rather than by the guest. Since you know that you’re going to get more single travellers in the near future, consider trying a lower price for them. Airbnb follows these guidelines, so if you hold out for a higher price, you could well miss out.
Be mindful of the dreaded single supplement, which will also drive solo guests away from your hospitality. Since solo travel in the hospitality business is becoming a bigger deal, the market is going to respond quite fast. Your competitors are likely to lower their room fee for singletons immediately once they catch on that you won’t. After all, solo travellers are going to boost revenue at the most important time of the year: the off-season.
Focus on the off-season and identify the solo traveller market more!
HolidayPirates, a company that sells cheap vacations, report that most solo bookings happen away from the holidays. This makes perfect sense since people travelling single might be doing so to get away from the crowds. This means you should modify your business practices to take this into consideration and consider the solo travel market for your SA business.
Single travellers rooms and singles events might do best during May and June, or even October and November. Hotel News Resource did say that most travellers are looking at the winter holidays, so use your own business’s past performance to determine your off-season. You should look for ways to attract travellers who are looking at booking at odd times of the year, as well as exploring new geographical locations. If your business is in a place with unusual seasonal events, for example, harvest festivals, you should take advantage of those. Your solo travellers will feel even more special for figuring out about a secret local tradition that those mainstream travellers did not know about.
If you would like more tips on how you can increase your direct bookings, then please reach out. I have a free 5 step blueprint on how you can cut down on commission costs and increase your heads on beds. Go to boostly.co.uk/5steps
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This is a guest blog post by Mark Simpson. It has been a pleasure.