5 Tips for selling to solo travellers

5 Tips for selling to solo travellers

Boost your solo sales with advice from the experts, writes Katie McGonagle

There’s no single type of solo traveller, but there’s one thing they generally all have in common. No matter how confident they are about embarking on their own personal odyssey, the same doubts crop up: how will I get around, who will I eat dinner with and what if something goes wrong? By combining their appetite for adventure with the safety net of a group, escorted tours provide the answer to these questions. Here are six tips on how to sell them to solo travellers. 

Tip #1: Don't believe the stereotypes
Gary King, head of trade sales at Wendy Wu Tours, says: “Solo travel is booming at Wendy Wu and is undoubtedly one of the most significant travel trends of the past two years. There are so many preconceptions – you have to be single, you have to be confident, you’ll be lonely – but they’re all untrue. For many, solo travel is the new norm. Many people are in relationships but have different interests when it comes to travel.”

The stigma that once existed around solo travel is fading away, so make sure you’re ready to meet growing demand

Tip #2: Don't assume solo travel is just for youths
While many people assume solo travellers are young, thrill-seeking backpackers, often it’s mature travellers who have the means to splash out on big-ticket tours, and face circumstances that mean they want to travel alone.

“The solo traveller has less to do with age and more to do with mindset,” says Cassie Stickland, product manager at Titan Travel (part of Saga Travel). “This audience is more likely to travel farther afield and want to fulfil their long-held travel dreams. Solo travellers are interested in getting the most from their trip. They want to see and do more, so an excursion is of more value than an afternoon with a spot of lunch and a nice scenic view.”

 Switzerland walking tour

Tip #3: Stress the value for money of solo traveller group tours
Travelling solo can come at quite a mark-up, as guides, transport and added extras mount up, so sharing the cost across a group can mean substantial savings – even if single supplements still apply.

“Solo guests benefit from the economies of scale that an escorted touring operator delivers,” says Brad Bennetts, head of sales and business development for APT and Travelmarvel. “By developing strong and long-term supplier relationships, experiences are contracted at more competitive rates. We also create exclusive, ‘money can’t buy’ opportunities that would be impossible to recreate outside a tour.”

Tip #4: Emphasise the upsides
Travelling solo is often more sociable than spending a whole trip chatting to the same companion.

Adam Kemp, managing director of Just You, explains: “Our holidays are all about ‘solo adventures together’, meaning that although you are a solo traveller, you will be with a great group of likeminded people who have a shared interest in the destination, the culture and the communities visited. 

"We have just launched a trade portal where agents can access holiday information, marketing collateral and social media assets. We also host joint customer events with partners that highlight the benefits of travelling with a solo holidays expert.” 


Tip #5: Find your target audience
“We are seeing the solo market grow massively, not only from customers who are single or widowed, but also customers who take one holiday with their partner or family, but then also choose to holiday another on their own,” says Paul Hardwick, director of retail for Fred Olsen Travel. “We segmented our database and pulled [together] every customer who had previously travelled on their own to create a dedicated database to market to. We send specific solo touring offers to customers through emails, mailers and offers in our windows. We also always promote solo holidays at shows and create events in-store or at a local venue.”


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