More women than ever are booking singles holidays, survey finds

* 68% of solo travellers now female
* Bookings up 10% every year
* Average holiday cost is £1,487

London, January 2020: A new survey of singles holidays has revealed that bookings are growing by 10% every year – with 68% of solo travellers now female.

Despite a slowdown across the travel industry in 2019, including the failure of Thomas Cook in September, the singles sector is booming. Bookings were up 10.5% in 2019 and are expected to grow by a further 11% in 2020.

The figures are based on analysis by the website, 101 Holidays, which examined more than 53,000 singles holidays taken in 2019. The website conducted similar research in 2017.

The survey covered a range of trips including beach holidays, cruises, group holidays, escorted tours, spa and wellness retreats and activity holidays. Italy was the most popular destination followed by Vietnam, Egypt, India and Greece.

On average, 68% of travellers were female and 32% male. This compares to 63% female and 37% male in 2017.

The average cost of the holidays taken in 2019 was £1,487 (excluding spending money) compared to £1,374 in 2017, an increase of 8.2%.

Cathy Winston, Editor of 101 Singles Holidays, says: “The figures reflect a growing trend in society. More people are living alone and choosing to travel alone, even when they are in committed relationships.

“But all the growth is being powered by women. Increasingly, women have the spending power and feel emboldened to travel by themselves. This is particularly true of women aged 50 and above who may be single, widowed or divorced. They don’t need a man to accompany them on holiday – they will do it anyway, whether that’s learning to scuba dive in Thailand or joining an Arctic cruise to experience the Midnight Sun.

“Today’s singles holidays are not for lonely hearts seeking love or hook-ups. They are aimed at solo travellers looking for the thrill of discovery and adventure, whether that’s alone or with a group of likeminded people.”

The survey found that 78% of people taking singles holidays are now aged 50 or over. In 2017 the figure was 70%.

At the same time, solo travellers are becoming increasingly adventurous. The fastest growing destinations in 2019 were Egypt, Peru, Japan, Lebanon and Georgia.

“The population is getting older, but people in their 50s no longer feel old,” says Winston. “In fact, it’s a time for exploration, adventure and new horizons. For many women, their children have left home or become independent, there’s money in the bank and – in some cases – marriages have ended.”

According to the Office of National Statistics, the number of people living alone has increased by 20% over the last 20 years, from 6.8 million in 1999 to 8.2 million in 2019.

Most popular destinations for singles holidays in 2019

1. Italy
2. Vietnam
3. Egypt
4. India
5. Greece

Fastest growing destinations for singles holidays in 2019

1. Egypt
2. Peru
3. Japan
4. Lebanon
5. Georgia

* The analysis by 101 Holidays was conducted in December 2019 and examined a total of 53,421 holidays taken by solo travellers in 2019. Data was collected from 10 different UK-based tour operators that organise singles holidays.

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