Giles Fuchs, owner of Burgh Island Hotel, highlights three ways hotels can attract and accommodate solo travellers.
In recent years, the number of bookings for solo travel has grown to make up over a quarter of all bookings. Young explorers are shunning trips away with family and friends in favour of adventuring alone, with 58 per cent of millennials open to solo travel.
This growing trend represents not just a change in the solo travel market, but also a shift in attitudes within the wider industry. New technologies enable travellers to navigate the world with more ease and confidence, and after spending so much of the last few years tethered to our friends and family, it’s no wonder more of us are looking to set off alone.
As requests for rooms for one rise, there is an opportunity for the hotel sector to tap into one of the largest and fastest-growing travel markets. However, to cater to the needs and expectations of these travellers, hotels must consider what they are looking for in a stay.
Meeting fellow travellers
Travelling solo doesn’t mean travelling alone. Indeed, 31 per cent of solo travellers use travelling as an opportunity for meeting new people. Therefore, those travelling alone are often drawn to hotels that have areas where they can meet fellow travellers.
Hotels should provide comfortable and relaxing environments for travellers to unwind, such as flexible lounge spaces with relaxed seating and open-planned areas, and games rooms that can spark connection and foster conversation between guests of all ages.
Sharing new experiences
One of the benefits of travelling solo is that it allows travellers to fully immerse themselves in their surroundings, giving them the freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want.
Almost 60 per cent of solo travellers seek adventure alone because they do not want to wait for someone else. Offering once in a lifetime, unique opportunities that bring them together with other experience-seekers is a sure way to capture their attention. For instance, Burgh Island Hotel offers a range of experiences to cater to different guests, from murder mystery weekends to live music, and nature-filled activities and excursions.
Hoteliers should consider their venue’s history and surroundings to curate a unique range of experiences. Even simple endeavours such as social events offer a fantastic opportunity to appeal to solo travellers looking to mingle, whilst professional classes can offer a connection to the local culture. Although some hotels may struggle to host these experiences in-house, this can be a great opportunity to collaborate with local companies or guides to provide your guests with unique and local experiences.
Putting yourself first
Whilst it is true that solo travellers want these social experiences, they are also seeking elements of relaxation and solitude. 61 per cent cite relaxation and time to unwind as the main motivator for solo travel. Tranquil spa treatments and yoga classes can make the worries of everyday life seem a lifetime away and allow solo travellers with some much-needed downtime.
But the most relaxing experiences are often found outside the hotel’s four walls. Recent studies have shown that spending time alone in nature can significantly benefit both mental and physical wellbeing. Therefore, hotels should help guests explore the outdoors and give them the tools they need to put their wellbeing first.
Having successfully navigated through some of the toughest challenges the hospitality sector has ever faced, there is no time for respite. Hoteliers must continue to monitor and cater to the latest trends and expectations that are reshaping the nature of travel. The rise of solo travel offers an opportunity for hotels to reimagine the experiences they offer guests to attract one of the fastest-growing demographics within the travel sector.