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Solo Holidays - UK - October 2017

“As living arrangements, social norms and lifestyles become increasingly diverse, and both men and women explore avenues for recreation and self-realisation as individuals, as well as members of a couple or family unit, the market for solo short breaks and longer holidays looks likely to expand. At the same time, solos are increasingly seeking ways of connecting with others on their travels and brands can be the facilitators of this.”
– John Worthington, Senior Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • His and hers hobby breaks
  • Travel brands need to cater more for singles on a budget 
  • Empowering female solos

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • 15% of adults take solo holidays
            • Figure 1: Who people go on holiday with, July 2017
          • Groups market has capacity to grow up to four times larger
            • Silver separators
              • Solos head for the city
                • Figure 2: Types of solo holiday taken in past 5 years and future interest, July 2017
              • Solo holidaymakers are happy in their own company
                • Figure 3: Reasons for taking solo holidays, July 2017
              • Single room supplement and social connectivity are most important factors
                • Figure 4: Important factors for solo holidaymakers, July 2017
              • Solo travel seen as liberating…
                • …but can also feel lonely at times
                  • Figure 5: Agreement with statements about solo holidays, July 2017
                • What we think
                • Issues and Insights

                  • His and hers hobby breaks
                    • The facts
                      • The implications
                        • Travel brands need to cater more for singles on a budget
                          • The facts
                            • The implications
                              • Empowering female solos
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                    • Holiday market resilient but overseas growth rates now slowing
                                      • Growth in single living population
                                        • Silver separators
                                          • Social connections and me-time more important than dating
                                            • Slowing economy likely to impact most on singles
                                            • Market Background – Overall Economic and Travel Context

                                              • Slowing economy likely to impact on discretionary spend…
                                                  • Figure 6: UK average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses)* vs CPI inflation, percentage change year on year, January 2014-August 2017
                                                  • Figure 7: Spot exchange rate, Pound Sterling versus selected currencies, June 2016-September 2017
                                                • …but consumers still see holidays as high priority
                                                  • Figure 8: Trends in the number and value of domestic holidays taken by UK residents, 2011-16
                                                  • Figure 9: Trends in the number and value of overseas holidays taken by UK residents, 2011-16
                                                • Spain, Italy, Holland seeing high UK visitor growth
                                                  • Figure 10: Top 20 overseas holiday destinations, by number of trips, 2012-16
                                              • Market Background – Singles Demographics and Solo Holidays

                                                • Seven in 10 solo holidaymakers are single
                                                  • Figure 11: Marital status profile of solo holidaymakers, July 2017
                                                • Divorced population up 23% since 2002
                                                  • Figure 12: Marital status of population age 16+, England and Wales, 2012-16
                                                • Almost four in 10 adults are single
                                                  • Figure 13: Living arrangements age 16+, England and Wales, 2012-16
                                                • Post-50 solo opportunities growing
                                                  • Figure 14: Those not living in a couple aged 16+, by age, England and Wales, 2012-16
                                                  • Figure 15: One-person households, by age, UK, 2012-16
                                                • One-person households to grow twice as fast as others over next five years
                                                  • Figure 16: One-person households forecast, UK, 2016-22
                                                • Growing old disgracefully
                                                  • The 50-plus adventuress
                                                    • Marry me?
                                                      • The cost of single living
                                                        • Older singles feeling the pinch
                                                          • Figure 17: Financial situation of UK consumers, by marital status, July 2017
                                                        • Travel Singles’ Day?
                                                          • The dating game
                                                          • Companies and Products – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Singles
                                                              • Group adventure
                                                                • Hobbies and interests
                                                                  • Escorted tour
                                                                    • Saga solos
                                                                      • Female explorers
                                                                        • Solo traveller tech
                                                                          • Single-parent holidays
                                                                          • Companies and Products

                                                                            • Group-based holidays
                                                                              • Singles group specialists
                                                                                • Adventure/activity group travel
                                                                                  • Special-interest group travel
                                                                                    • Escorted tours
                                                                                      • Figure 18: Latest reported turnover of selected tour operators of relevance to the solo holiday market
                                                                                    • Mainstream
                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                      • Just You spreading its wings
                                                                                        • All-female expeditions
                                                                                          • Solo cruising
                                                                                            • Single-parent initiative from Virgin
                                                                                              • Apps for solo travellers
                                                                                                • Delta targets jet-setting singles with marketing campaign
                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                  • One in seven adults have gone solo in past five years
                                                                                                    • Making solo travel more female-friendly
                                                                                                      • City solos
                                                                                                        • Hobby holidays for couples
                                                                                                          • Cruise/escorted tour potential
                                                                                                            • Supplement-free rooms seen as highest priority…
                                                                                                              • …followed by social connectivity
                                                                                                                • Age segmentation preferred by Millennials
                                                                                                                  • Freedom and adventure
                                                                                                                    • De-stressing solo travel
                                                                                                                      • Consumer dissatisfaction can favour those brands that get it right
                                                                                                                      • Holiday Companions and Solo Travel

                                                                                                                        • 15% of adults have taken a solo holiday in past five years
                                                                                                                          • Figure 19: Who people go on holiday with, July 2017
                                                                                                                        • Overall male bias in solo travel market
                                                                                                                          • Over one in three divorcees holiday alone
                                                                                                                            • One in 10 married people have been away on their own
                                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Solo holidaymakers, by marital status, July 2017
                                                                                                                            • 36% of one-person households go solo
                                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Solo holidaymakers, by household size, July 2017
                                                                                                                            • Potential pool of interest in solo holidays is one in four adults
                                                                                                                              • Future interest in groups/escorted solo holidays is four times higher than past usage
                                                                                                                                • Safety concerns are key to attracting more women
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 22: Attitudes of non-solo travellers towards solo travel, July 2017
                                                                                                                                • Loneliness and costs are also leading barriers to growth
                                                                                                                                  • Consumers are less confident about holidaying abroad
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Confidence in doing solo leisure activities, July 2017
                                                                                                                                • Types of Solo Holiday Taken and Potential Interest

                                                                                                                                    • Men more likely to take regular short breaks alone
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Solo holidays, destination and duration, July 2017
                                                                                                                                    • Solos and the city
                                                                                                                                      • Couples are drawn to solo hobby breaks…
                                                                                                                                        • …but women are not indulging as much as men
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Types of solo holiday taken, July 2017
                                                                                                                                        • Experimental Solos
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Number of types of solo holiday taken, July 2017
                                                                                                                                        • Solo cruise and escorted tours have biggest growth potential
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Future interest in types of solo holiday, July 2017
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Percentage point differential between past experience of and future interest in types of solo holiday, July 2017
                                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Holidaying Solo

                                                                                                                                        • ‘Just like going on my own’ is main reason given
                                                                                                                                          • Younger males on the lookout for a solo holiday bargain
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: Reasons for taking solo holidays, July 2017
                                                                                                                                        • Important Factors for Solo Holidaymakers

                                                                                                                                          • Supplement-free room is the top priority
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: Important factors for solo holidaymakers, July 2017
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Factors rated as very important or somewhat important for solo holidaymakers, July 2017
                                                                                                                                          • Social connectivity also of prime importance
                                                                                                                                            • Age segmentation is important for solo Millennials…
                                                                                                                                              • …but others prefer their own company on holiday
                                                                                                                                              • Solo Holidaymaker Attitudes

                                                                                                                                                • Solo holidays offer more freedom and adventure
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Agreement with statements about solo holidays, July 2017
                                                                                                                                                  • Under-45s recognise the social benefits of solo holidays
                                                                                                                                                    • Technology as a social enabler
                                                                                                                                                      • Loneliness and stress can be significant drawbacks
                                                                                                                                                        • Short solo breaks can offer a secure entry point
                                                                                                                                                          • Message to industry: ‘you’re still not doing enough’
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Agreement with further statements about solo holidays, July 2017
                                                                                                                                                            • Group holidays seen as safer but can restrict freedom of ‘pure solo’ travel
                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                              • Definitions
                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                Solo Holidays - UK - October 2017

                                                                                                                                                                US $2,648.76 (Excl.Tax)