In Trends

back view of woman traveling in ThailandSolo travel is nothing new. In fact, we’ve been blogging about it since 2017. But each year unveils fresh insights about this lucrative niche market—so we’re unpacking the 2022 trends inside the still-going-strong solo travel trend.

All The Single Ladies
By single, we’re not (necessarily) referencing relationship status. These on-their-own female sojourners may have a significant other in life, just not along for the trip. The fact that women continue to comprise an outsized portion of solo travelers is not surprising when you consider the cult following of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love, the blockbuster movie based on that memoir and the host of female solo travel bloggers it has inspired ever since.

New for 2022: Try Googling solo travel right now. When we did, predictive text served “solo travel for women” in the top position, indicating high search volume. Here’s our take on what’s contributing to the latest push: Between pent-up demand from missed girls’ trips in 2020 and 2021 and varying comfort levels between friends about venturing out just yet (hi, omicron!), some women are deciding they can’t wait for the squad to get together—so they’re striking out on epic solo journeys.

Going It Alone (Together)
Group tours allow solo travelers to pursue their personal passions while simultaneously fulfilling their need for human connection through a shared experience with like-minded people. This is especially critical after the isolation and loneliness many suffered over the past two years. According to the Solo Traveler 2021 Reader Survey, 75% of respondents have taken at least one escorted tour with 27% already having gone on five or more.

New for 2022: Tour operators have seized on the zeitgeist and are now going the extra mile to offer inclusive experiences that are not one-size-fits-all-generations. Catering to younger travelers (with an average age of 27), social travel company Contiki shares that 49% of their bookings this year are for solo travelers. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Explore Worldwide has curated small group tours for adventure-loving boomers (aged 60+) who are traveling without a companion.

Well On Their Way
Don’t make the mistake of equating wellness tourism to just another spa getaway. The industry-leading Global Wellness Institute defines it as “travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s personal well-being” and valued this market at $639 billion in 2017 after an annual growth spurt of 6.5% from 2015 to 2017—a rate twice that of tourism overall.

New for 2022: Wellness tourism was clearly on the rise even before the pandemic struck. Two years later, we’ve had the time and space to reassess our lifestyles and reprioritize our personal health. Here at Dana, we predict travel experiences that boost both physical and mental well-being will increase exponentially.

In Search of Sustainability
Travel typically leaves a heavy carbon footprint, taking a toll on the planet. In an effort to tread more lightly, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has established comprehensive criteria for the private and public sectors to not only reduce our industry’s impact environmentally, but also socioeconomically and culturally as well as providing guidelines for sustainably managing travel in their neck of the woods.

New for 2022: Although scientists have long been sounding the alarm to combat climate change, extreme weather events and worldwide activism over the last few years have placed the issue front-and-center for the masses. Previously considered a “nice to have” feature when planning a trip, travel providers (think: transportation, destinations, accommodations and experiences) that engage in sustainability have now been moved to the “must have” column for a great number of travelers who want to be part of the solution.

Want to know the best part about these 2022 solo travel trends? You don’t have to build a marketing strategy around them alone! Contact Lynn Kaniper at 609.466.9187 ext. 771 or today to learn how Dana can help you capture the attention (and vacation dollars) of solo travelers.

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