Female travelers going it alone is not only a becoming more accepted sight around the world but it is one of the fastest growing markets in travel, according to figures from Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).
Between 2011 and 2012, SLH saw growth in single-occupancy travel across the board in terms of both revenue and number of room nights, with the number of sole occupancy room nights jumping from 4,115 to 5,841, and revenue from global solo bookings increasing by almost $400,000 year on year. In SLH’s core markets, the surge of female bookings is particularly notable, with a 53% increase in room nights booked by single occupancy females between 2011 and 2012 (from 973 room nights in 2011 to 1489 room nights in 2012), compared to an increase of 38% in room nights by solo males across the same period (from 1648 room nights to 2269 room nights).
SLH hotels across the globe have not only noticed a rise in the number of female guests traveling alone or in all-female groups, but also reported that they are staying for a longer period of time than ever before. According to the results of a survey on female travelers in the UK and US by CAP Strategic Research in 2011, women represent the most important and fastest growing segment of the travel market, in terms of both leisure and business travel.
Not only did the survey find that 48% of travel website users are now women, but a significant 66% of women said that travel companies would see an increase in business if they tried harder to serve women travelers.
Making female guests feel both comfortable and secure are two of the most important considerations when creating the personal luxury experience. SLH offers Women-only floors at Naumi Hotel in Singapore, Dukes London, and The Chesterfield Palm Beach.
The Capital Hotel in London has created a list of local restaurants and bars that are particularly recommended for solo female travelers, as well as also offering a female private guide to accompany women guests to shops and museums on their first trip to England. For those solo travelers that start to feel lonely, L Hotel Seminyak Bali has offers ‘in room guppy love’, with a fish bowl placed in the hotel room to keeps guests’ company.
Packages tailored especially towards its female guests are also a particularly popular offering at SLH hotels, such as The Women’s Shopping Package at Das Tyrol, conveniently located on Vienna’s longest shopping street, and a Mediterranean culinary journey exclusively for women at La Maltese Estate in Santorini. Grand Hotel Toplice holds a weekly ladies day at the Bled Golf Club, Slovenia’s oldest and largest course.
At Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica, solo female travelers are encouraged to embrace the local communities surrounding the property. One of the hotel’s outreach programs guests can engage with a group of local women artists whose expressive art depicts elements of their daily lives and collective experiences through pieces created in the studios of the neighboring Islita Art Museum. Women travelers can take art class sessions with these local women and learn first-hand about the lives and experiences of traditional Costa Rican rural communities.
The trend towards embracing solo female experiences has certainly gone beyond the ‘spa and beauty’ focus. A number of women-only tour companies can be considered, such as Wanderlust and Lipstick and Gutsy Women Travel.
Women Traveling Solo: A Fast Rising Sector