What women traveling solo want is not shopping or pictures for the gram but culture, beauty and nature

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February 15 2021

The second round of results from the 2020 Solo Female Travel Trends Survey released on International Women’s Day reveals that solo female travelers dream of going to Greece, Japan, Australia and Italy, pick a destination based on culture, safety and nature and are not interested in shopping or Instagram worthy shots. 5,000 female respondents urge the travel industry to stop using outdated and irrelevant stereotypes of what women like to do when traveling solo.

Run by Solo Female Travelers and SheFari, the 2020 Solo Female Travel Trends Survey  collected over 5,000 responses from more than 100 countries and is the largest, most comprehensive and only global research study conducted to date. The survey aims to normalize traveling solo as a woman and to provide the travel industry with data-driven insights.

With the first set of data revealing that 73% of solo female travelers worry about safety, and the subsequent launch of the world’s first Solo Female Travel Safety Index, and Safety Festival, this new release of data offers insight into the preferences and attitudes of Solo Female Travelers; what they like to do when traveling, how they choose a destination and what they would pay more for.

Solo female travelers dream of traveling to Greece, Italy, Australia and Japan with differences based on age. All but Greece are also countries recommended for a first time solo trip. Greece is the main beneficiary of 2020 travel restrictions and is now at the top of the bucket list for women traveling solo, particularly for Gen Z.

“Marketing brochures or social media posts typically show young women taking popular Instagram photos or shopping, those messages do not resonate with the rapidly growing and diverse solo female travel segment. Tourism businesses should refresh their messaging with updated data”, said Mar Pages, Co-Founder of Solo Female Travelers.

The research reveals that when choosing a destination women look for cultural experiences (82%), safety (69%), the beauty of a place (69%), nature (58%) and the country’s reputation, human rights track record and the way it treats women (58%).

Affordability of a destination is a decision factor for 60% of respondents and single supplements are mentioned as a barrier to traveling solo by 10% of respondents. Almost half of the respondents would spend additional travel budget on better accommodation.

Christina Papavlasopoulos, co-founder of SheFari, notes that it may be time for the travel industry to reconsider single-person fee supplements, or at the very least, offer alternative options.  

“Tour and retreat providers have a relevant opportunity to better serve the solo collective if they offer the option for travelers to share a room. Shefari offers the option for solo travelers to share accommodation to avoid single supplements” said Papavlasopoulos.

Women traveling solo favor cultural sightseeing (83%) and immersion (68%), nature and wildlife (73%), going to the beach (54%) and nature (53%). Only a quarter of respondents look for activities around shopping or nightlife. 
The full report with data and key findings from the Solo Female Travel Trends Survey can be found here. An additional report is scheduled for release on the 8th of April, which will dive into who the Solo Female Traveler is, what she cares about and what she spends money on.

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