When journey advisors reflect onconsideration on destinations like Ethiopia, the Arctic, and African safaris, they may not simply goal solo girls of their mid-60s. But that is precisely the sweet spot for one excursion business enterprise that has efficiently grown its solo customers to represent almost half of-its income.
“We’ve seen the solo trend skyrocket in current years,” said Brian Fitzgerald, COO, Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), a Boston-based, small-group excursion business enterprise that objectives tourists 55 years of age and older. Currently, forty-seven % of O.A.T. Travelers are solo, together with humans traveling as singles and solos who are sharing accommodations. Some eighty-five % of those travelers are women, with the average age of their mid-60s.
According to Fitzgerald, in 2010, simply 27% of O.A.T’s vacationers had been solo tourists. And it’s no longer as if this marketplace is ruled using widows. Fitzgerald stated that these days, 40% of his customers inform O.A.T. That they’re traveling without their partner.
“Many are girls who have a spouse at home who is not interested in traveling, so those women both go solo or pick out to deliver a girlfriend,” Fitzgerald stated. “Traveling solo is growing, but touring as pals are growing even faster.”
Fitzgerald says his organization’s travelers are impartial, adventurous, and curious. “They are lifestyles-lengthy newbies and are often instructors or retired teachers,” Fitzgerald stated, urging agents to target comparable styles of customers. Regionally, the organization is especially famous with tourists from Florida, Texas, and California.
Where and why they travel
AARP mentioned in its 2019 Boomer Travel Trends have a look at that seniors are anticipated to take 4-five amusement trips in 2019, spending greater than $6, six hundred. Also, the observe determined that nearly 1/2 of all Baby Boomers suggested interest in genuine/nearby studies – particularly, eating or traveling with locals – while traveling internationally.
The maximum popular sorts of adventure trips O.A.T. Offers encompass itineraries to Sicily and Morocco; and what the company calls its “Ultimate Africa” excursion, which includes Botswana, Zambia, and a Zimbabwe safari.
While solo vacationers are adventurous, they admire the protection of small-organization guided excursions, Fitzgerald said. His employer finds the ideal length is set 14, but may want to variety everywhere from eight-16 travelers for O.A.T. Land adventures and no extra than 25 in a collection on their small deliver adventures.
“Solo travelers want group sports and time to discover on their very own, with the freedom to make picks approximately how they spend their time abroad. They want to meet the people of the groups and the youngsters,” he stated.
The company’s Europe trips assist vacationers revisit countries they have got already been to, “but to new corners and stale-the-beaten-path places.” Some 30% of O.A.T’s travelers pick out to arrive early or stay later to “wreck away” and explore a destination absolutely on their personal.
Building in this call for to head similarly afield, O.A.T in 2020 plans to add day trip cruises to the Arctic; and new itineraries for Ethiopia, France, and Scotland.
“The Arctic is becoming greater reachable and it’s a ‘bucket listing’ for many humans,” Fitzgerald said. O.A.T’s excursion consists of 10 days of sailing across the island of Svalbard, such as spotting natural world like polar bears, walruses, narwhals, reindeer and different animals.
“We anticipate it to continue to grow at a comparable rate that we’ve seen those past few years,” he said.
To develop their girl solo traveler base, Fitzgerald advises dealers to awareness on promoting referrals from present clients. “Our quality source of sales, by means of a long way, is referrals from current clients,” he said. “We have passionate clients who have traveled with O.A.T. Ten, 20 instances, or more. They clearly inform their friends and circle of relatives approximately their wonderful journeys. It’s the pleasant marketing we should wish for.”
O.A.T. Is part of Boston-based Grand Circle Corporation’s own family of travel corporations, which also encompass Grand Circle Cruise Line and Grand Circle Travel.