Travel trade failing to meet needs of solo travellers
24 November, 2008: The travel industry is so badly failing to meet the needs of lone travelers that half would rather stay at home than take a ‘typical’ singles holiday.
Singles aged between 31 and 45 years old cannot find a holiday which suits their needs, new research reveals. But 68% said they would travel if they could find a holiday that met their needs.
The age group shows a preference for fun holidays with sophisticated nightlife, away from younger revellers and without romantic pressure - but the grown-up version of the singles holiday does not seem to exist.
The research found that they are neither interested in getting drunk and nightclubbing in the traditional sense, nor in spending time with younger people.
The poll of 530 people (equally split between men and women), all of whom had travelled at least once in the last year, revealed that half would rather stay at home than go on what they viewed as a typical singles holiday.
The main reason provided for choosing not to travel is having no one to go away with (31%).
However, 15% are not comfortable with the assumption that they are going away to find romance.
Being embarrassed to be single was the reason given by 10% of respondents, with this not only being felt during the booking phase but also while on holiday itself.
Overall though, 68% said they would travel if they could find a holiday that meets their needs.
The research by digital customer experience firm Foviance, also discovered exactly what this age group does want from a singles holiday.
Factors cited as important included location (78%), like-minded people (71%) of a similar age group (58%), specific activities (51%), no romantic pressure (50%) and vetting of their fellow travellers (39%).
For women travelling alone safety was understandably also a priority.
When it comes to choosing a holiday, friends are the most trusted source of information (25%), with websites coming a close second (21%).
The least trusted sources of information are: direct marketing (21%); blogs (18%); TV (13%); lifestyle magazines (11%); and the travel press (11%).
Foviance consultancy director Marty Carroll said: “Organisations’ lack of understanding means that the majority focus on selling products and services rather than concentrating on delivering customer experiences.
“The end result is a fragmented product or service experience, delivered to a target audience which has been defined by a marketing tool developed for a market environment that no longer exists.
“Once organisations start focusing on who their customers really are, what they love and hate, and what they are missing out on, real customer experiences can be created. Companies that do not evolve and deliver exceptional customer experiences risk losing sales and market share to those that do.”