On destinations like Ethiopia, the Arctic, and African safaris, they won’t conveniently goal solo girls of their mid-60s. But that is precisely the sweet spot for one tour corporation that has effectively grown its solo customers to represent nearly half of its income. “We’ve visible the solo fashion skyrocket in current years,” said Brian Fitzgerald, C.O.O., Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T.), a Boston-based, small-group excursion organization that targets travelers 55 years of age and older. Currently, forty-seven % of O.A.T. Tourists are solo, inclusive of humans touring as singles and solos who are sharing resorts.
Some eighty-five % of these vacationers are women, with the typical age of their mid-60s. According to Fitzgerald, in 2010, just 27% of O.A.T.’s’ tourists were solo vacationers. And it’s no longer as though this marketplace is ruled by way of widows. Fitzgerald said that these days, forty% of his customers tell O.A.T. That they’re traveling without their spouse. “Many are women who have a partner at domestic who is not inquisitive about traveling, so those ladies either pass solo or pick to carry a lady friend,” Fitzgerald stated. ““Traveling solo is growing, however touring as pals are developing even quicker.”
Fitzgerald says his company’s vacationers are impartial, adventurous, and curious. “They are existence-lengthy rookies and are frequently instructors or retired instructors,” Fitzgerald said, urging agents to target similar forms of customers. Regionally, the company is especially popular with travelers from Florida, Texas, and California.
Where and why they journey
In its 2019 Boomer Travel Trends study, AARP pronounced that seniors are anticipated to take 4-five amusement journeys in 2019, spending more than $6,600. In addition, they have discovered that almost 1/2 of all Baby Boomers mentioned hobbies in real/neighborhood experiences – especially consuming or traveling with locals – while journeying the world over. The maximum popular sorts of adventure journeys O.A.T. Offers consist of itineraries to Sicily and Morocco; and what the agency calls its “Ultimate Africa” excursion, including Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe safari.
While solo travelers are adventurous, they recognize the safety of small-organization guided excursions, Fitzgerald stated. His organisation reveals the right size is ready 14, however could variety everywhere from 8-16 travelers for O.A.T. Land adventures and no extra than 25 in a set on their small ship adventures. “Solo tourists want institution sports and time to explore on their own, with the freedom to make picks about how they spend their time abroad. They want to fulfill the people of the communities and the children,” he said.
The business enterprise’s Europe trips assist travelers to revisit countries they have already been to, “however to new corners and off-the-overwhelmed-direction places.” Some 30% of O.A.T.’s’ tourists pick to arrive early or stay later to “wreck away” and discover a destination entirely on their very own. Building in this call to move further afield, O.A.T. in 2020 plans to feature day trip cruises to the Arctic; and new itineraries for Ethiopia, France, and Scotland.
“The Arctic is becoming more, available and it’s a ‘bucket listing’ for plenty humans,” Fitzgerald stated. O.A.T.’s’ expedition includes ten days of boating across the island of Svalbard, which provides for recognizing the natural world like polar bears, walruses, narwhals, reindeer, and other animals. “We anticipate it to continue to grow at a comparable rate that we’ve seen these beyond a few years,” he said.
To develop their lady solo traveler base, Fitzgerald advises agents to consciousness on promoting referrals from current clients. “Our pleasant supply of sales, with the aid of a long way, is referrals from contemporary clients,” he stated. “We have passionate customers who have traveled with O.A.T. Ten, 20 times, or greater. They certainly inform their friends and family approximately their first-rate trips. It’s the pleasant advertising and marketing we may want to desire for.” O.A.T. It is a part of Boston-primarily based Grand Circle Corporation’s circle of relatives of travel groups, encompassing Grand Circle Cruise Line and Grand Circle Travel.