Travel experts believe that women represent the fastest growing and most important segment within the travel market, in terms of both leisure and business travel. As such, Business2Community spoke with Phyllis Stoller of the Women’s Travel Group, who shared some vital insights on the changing trends she sees amongst female travellers.
Women expect the same level of travel hotels and services during their leisure trips as they have experienced during business travel; their travel standards are set by prior experiences and they are not willing to settle for less. Additionally, during their travel, they want more than the basics afforded by normal travel agents, opting for more intellectual stimulation and ‘experiences’ from their travel. This is reflected in the statistic that around 75% of those who take cultural, adventure or nature trips are women. As such, they want to go prepared, and so tend to ask questions and expect smart answers about their destinations and fellow travellers. This particularly holds true in the case of group travel experiences.
Small Luxury Hotels of the World identified a growing number of solo travellers within this segment, with a 53% increase in single occupancy rooms booked by females between 2011 and 2012. Men travelling alone, on the other hand, increased by less, with a 38% rise. Stoller also mentions that women are more adventurous in travel than men; seeking out unusual and new destinations while men are more satisfied with the more predictable destinations such as golf resorts. Even the standard London, Paris, Rome vacations have evolved into more exotic trips to places within South America and Asia. As such, with their focus on exciting travel and true experiences, women are increasingly bilingual, thus making travel more comfortable for them.
Even when travelling in groups, women are willing to book their own travel separately in order to benefit from frequent flier miles, loyalty points and hotel rewards. In fact, Stoller notes that these factors can dictate important travel decisions such as the destination selected. They are thus deal seekers, and with the growing rate of solo female travellers, are discouraged by loss leaders that tend to target couples and families with few ‘singles’ deals.
For destinations and tourism organisations, taking note of these insights is very important. The female traveller is a crucial and growing travel segment with particular tendencies and preferences to keep in mind and target.
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