Travel industry needs to provide more for solo travellers

Solo travel is expected to be a growth area for the travel industry.
Solo travel is expected to be a growth area for the travel industry.

LONELY Planet has come out and said the travel industry needs to do more for solo travellers who are being hit with higher accommodation and insurance costs combined with poorer service.

A Lonely Planet survey of 4000 travellers found more than a third (36 per cent) have felt disadvantaged when on holiday on their own.

The cost of solo travel is the biggest barrier to booking such a trip at 27 per cent, second only to safety concerns (32 per cent).

More than half (53 per cent) of respondents said they have had to pay a single person supplement for accommodation.

Average price hikes for people travelling on their own are more than 50 per cent for accommodation and nearly 20 per cent on travel insurance.

Typical criticisms of restaurants include poor service from staff, being seated in the worst places and even being refused bookings.

Four out of five (80 per cent) have taken or are planning a solo trip.

Speaking ahead of the launch of Lonely Planet’s new specialist guide, The Solo Travel Handbook, editorial director Tom Hall said most travellers will find themselves going solo at some point in their lives.

“Despite this, a significant number feel that the lack of choices and increased cost of travelling solo puts them at a disadvantage,” he said.

Recent research by travel trade organisation Abta revealed that over-65s are the most likely age group to travel on their own.

“The demographics of solo travel has changed dramatically,” Mr Hall said.

“Today, solo travellers come from all ages and backgrounds, and may travel with others as often as they travel on their own.

“We expect solo travel to continue to be a growth area for the travel industry in the next few years, and want to encourage companies to consider how they can better serve solo travellers.”