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Solo Holidays - UK - October 2018

“Independent solo travellers are freedom-lovers who feel most at home in cities. Brands can attract this self-reliant tribe by providing services, creating spaces and utilising technology to inform, reassure and connect solo travellers to each other and to local residents.”

- John Worthington, Senior Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Solo concierge
  • Agents can become solo travel experts
  • Empowering ‘me-time’ travellers
  • Groups need more flexible formats
  • Helping solos to create DIY group holidays

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • One in six adults take solo holidays
            • Figure 1: Holiday companions, July 2017 vs July 2018
          • Fall in percentage of older singles…
            • Figure 2: Marital status profile of solo holidaymakers, July 2017 vs July 2018
          • …but solo Boomers offer opportunities
            • Solo holidaymakers are more active
              • Figure 3: Type of holiday taken, by travel companions, July 2018
            • Solo travel driven by desire more than necessity
              • Figure 4: Reasons for taking a solo holiday, July 2018
            • Price, security, and 24/7 contact are key opportunities for brands
              • Figure 5: Factors rated as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ by solo holidaymakers, July 2018
            • Escorted tours have biggest growth potential
              • Figure 6: Interest in types of solo/group holiday, July 2018
            • Small is beautiful for group travellers
              • Figure 7: Group preferences for solo/group holidays, July 2018
            • Solo travel entering the mainstream but stigma remains
              • Mainstream industry still seen as falling short
                • Figure 8: Agreement with statements about solo travel, July 2018
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Solo concierge
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Agents can become solo travel experts
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                            • Empowering ‘me-time’ travellers
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • Groups need more flexible formats
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Helping solos to create DIY group holidays
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                            • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                              • Domestic and overseas markets reach new peak
                                                • Shift from older to younger singles…
                                                  • …but demographic trend points to older singles opportunities
                                                    • The price of solo living
                                                      • Budget/premium polarisation
                                                        • P2P sector could disrupt hotel pricing for singles
                                                        • Market Background

                                                          • UK breaks beat ‘staycation year’ record
                                                            • Figure 9: Trends in the number and value of domestic holidays taken by UK residents, 2012-17
                                                          • Holidays abroad finally surpass pre-crash levels
                                                            • Figure 10: Trends in the number and value of overseas holidays taken by UK residents, 2012-17
                                                          • Singles to solos
                                                            • Younger singles percentage rising
                                                              • One in three solo travellers live in a couple
                                                                • Figure 11: Marital status profile of solo holidaymakers, July 2017 vs July 2018
                                                              • Never married population has risen sharply…
                                                                • Figure 12: Marital status of population age 16+, England and Wales, 2002-17
                                                              • …partly due to cohabitation growth
                                                                • Figure 13: Living arrangements age 16+, England and Wales, 2002-17
                                                              • Over-50s solos are the largest growth opportunity
                                                                • Figure 14: Those not living in a couple aged 16+, by age, England and Wales, 2002-17
                                                              • Single boomers offer potential
                                                                • Figure 15: One-person households, by age, UK, 2002-17
                                                              • Solo living to account for 29% of households by 2023
                                                                • Figure 16: UK household size, number and forecast, UK, 2013-23
                                                              • The cost of living alone
                                                                • Single-person supplement
                                                                  • P2P sector could help to drive change
                                                                    • Supplement-free is a key selling-point for groups market
                                                                      • Solos lose out on railcards
                                                                        • Price-sensitive singles…
                                                                          • …but better-off solos offer premium opportunities
                                                                            • Figure 17: Financial situation of UK consumers, by marital status, July 2018
                                                                        • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                          • One in five Saga customers travel solo
                                                                            • Groups sector drives innovation
                                                                              • G Adventures takes leading stake in singles market
                                                                                • Other leading escorted tour brands
                                                                                  • Group-adventure brands
                                                                                    • Special interest brands
                                                                                      • Solo-only escorted tours
                                                                                        • Adventurous over-50s
                                                                                          • Solo cruising
                                                                                            • Support tools for solos
                                                                                            • Companies

                                                                                                • Singles specialists
                                                                                                  • Escorted tour operators
                                                                                                    • Group-adventure brands
                                                                                                      • Special interest – a highly fragmented market
                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Latest reported turnover of selected tour operators of relevance to the solo holiday market
                                                                                                      • Travel agents/expert advice
                                                                                                        • Social TripAdvisor offers opportunity for solo experts
                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                          • Escorted tour sector targeting solos
                                                                                                            • Solo adventures
                                                                                                              • Just You
                                                                                                                • Saga Holidays
                                                                                                                  • Intrepid
                                                                                                                    • Solo cruise innovation
                                                                                                                      • Solo wellness
                                                                                                                        • New solo price-tracker tool
                                                                                                                          • Tech tools for solo safety
                                                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                            • Solo holiday-taking up two points
                                                                                                                              • Female influencers
                                                                                                                                • Solos shun the beach…
                                                                                                                                  • …and head for the city
                                                                                                                                    • Freedom and time to myself are main motivations
                                                                                                                                      • Single supplement and safety are key issues
                                                                                                                                        • Social elements important for Millennials
                                                                                                                                          • Groups potential
                                                                                                                                            • Solo travel still carries stigma amongst young
                                                                                                                                            • Holiday Companions and Solo Travel

                                                                                                                                              • Courting solo travellers can benefit mainstream brands
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Holiday companions, July 2017 vs July 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Men and under-45s most likely to travel solo
                                                                                                                                                • Household income is a key driver of solo travel
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Solo holidaymakers by demographics, July 2018
                                                                                                                                              • Types of Solo Holiday

                                                                                                                                                • Solo holidays are more active
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 21: Type of holiday taken, by travel companions, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                • Younger solos more attracted to specialist holidays
                                                                                                                                                  • Cruises and escorted tours under-represented amongst older solos
                                                                                                                                                    • Solo-friendly cities
                                                                                                                                                      • Millennial solos are diverse holiday-takers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Number of holiday types taken by solo travellers in the past five years, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                    • Reasons for Taking Solo Holidays

                                                                                                                                                      • Freedom and self-determination are key drivers
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 23: Reasons for taking a solo holiday, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Couples doing their own thing
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 24: Reasons for taking a solo holiday, by marital status, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                      • Non-solo travellers also recognise the benefits
                                                                                                                                                      • Important Factors for Solo Holidaymakers

                                                                                                                                                        • Room rates and safety are most important issues
                                                                                                                                                          • Solos seek 24/7 support
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Factors rated as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ by solo holidaymakers, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Technology can be used as a social facilitator
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Factors rated as ‘important’ or ‘very important’ by solo holidaymakers, Millennials vs all solo travellers, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                            • Older female solos require greater assistance
                                                                                                                                                            • Solo Travel and Group Holidays

                                                                                                                                                              • Over half of solo travellers interested in escorted tours
                                                                                                                                                                • Adventure and hobby-based groups appeal most to solos under-45
                                                                                                                                                                  • 40% of solos under-35 interested in beach-party groups
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Interest in types of solo/group holiday, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                  • Group dynamics – age and gender
                                                                                                                                                                    • Group dynamics – size
                                                                                                                                                                      • 19% of solo travellers interested in singles-only groups
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Group preferences for solo/group holidays, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    • Attitudes towards Solo Holidays

                                                                                                                                                                      • Stigma still attached to holidaying alone
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Solo Holidays – CHAID – Tree output, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Spirit of adventure
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Agreement with statements about solo travel, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                      • Many see solo travel as lonely and dangerous
                                                                                                                                                                        • Breaking down negative perceptions
                                                                                                                                                                          • Brands can bring solo travellers and locals together
                                                                                                                                                                            • Me-time gender dispute
                                                                                                                                                                              • Six in 10 solos say industry does not cater well for them
                                                                                                                                                                              • Attitudes towards Group Holidays

                                                                                                                                                                                • Group holidays can cramp style of freedom-loving solos
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Making group holidays more flexible
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Agreement with statements about group holidays, July 2018
                                                                                                                                                                                  • DIY group holidays
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Love Island holidays
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Definitions
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                              • CHAID methodology

                                                                                                                                                                                              Solo Holidays - UK - October 2018

                                                                                                                                                                                              US $2,552.20 (Excl.Tax)