Tour operators missing out on singles marketMany singles put off by financial penalties

06 November 2006

 

Holiday companies are missing a golden opportunity by failing to tap into a growing singles market, a new report reveals.

Many high spending singles are put off travelling because of the financial penalties they face from tour operators according to the Euromonitor International report, released to mark the opening of the World Travel Market in London..

Single-person households now account for 30 per cent of all UK households, with the average age of first marriage for women rising from 22 in the 1980s to 28 now, and with the men's average rising from 24 to 30.

The report added that singles between the ages of 25 and 40 represented a good deal for tour operators as they have a higher-than-average disposable income and are willing to pay the price for a higher-end service.

Accommodation surcharges

Euromonitor International's Global Travel and Tourism Manager Caroline Bremner said: ‘Single people today are currently being turned off from holidaying alone by the financial penalties they face, such as surcharges on accommodation.

‘They also have concerns over safety and security abroad, and some feel uncomfortable with the social stigma of dining alone on holiday.

‘If UK travel operators address these concerns and tailor holiday packages to suit the interests of single people, we believe individual travel represents a vast and as yet relatively untapped market.’

The report also looked at emerging US trends such as ‘babymoons’ - where couples expecting a child go away for one last, big holiday before the arrival of their first child.

Babymoons

Ms Bremner said: ‘Babymoons are being marketed to expecting couples in the US as a holiday to remember where they can relax and have valuable couple time before the arrival of their son or daughter.

‘By helping couples celebrate such a special life stage event, travel operators have the opportunity to build customer loyalty, encouraging the couple to turn to them again when planning family vacations in the future.’