70% of Australians have travelled solo and most loved it

Andrew Munro 18 September 2017

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Are Australians predicting travel trends, or starting them?

Solo travel been a growing trend for a while now, but Australians might be at the front of the pack. According to a survey from Skyscanner, about 7 in 10 Australians have travelled solo before.

Both men and women were almost equally keen on travelling alone, with 73% of men and 70% of women having done it before. However, safety remains a concern, with 60% of respondents naming it the top issue. The next most common issues were homesickness, named by 14% of respondents and the cost, specified by 12%.

Why are people travelling solo?

For the most part, people travel solo for the same reasons they travel at all. It's to explore new places, get new experiences and do things you can't do at home.

And for most it was a conscious choice rather than circumstantial. Over a quarter said they wanted to get some "me time" amongst it all, possibly thinking back to claustrophobic previous trips. Almost 1 in 5 (18%) had more zen reasons for it, saying they chose to go alone for a journey of self-discovery.

But for more than 1 in 5 (22%) said it was simply because they had no one to go with.

On the whole, however, more people are going solo by choice than by circumstance, and they're loving it. Of the 70% who've hit the road alone, 86% have gone back to do it again.

The new solo travel industry

The solo travel industry is growing rapidly, and 2017 in particular saw it swell. Tour groups are getting in at the ground floor, with tours that cater especially to solo travellers for a blend of both "me time" and camaraderie.

Hotels are also changing things up. Their rooms, traditionally divided into business, couple and family categories, are creating a new class to welcome the solo pleasure tourist, such as you might see in Australia's first capsule hotel.

They might be late to the party though, because share accommodation like Airbnb has been cleaning up in the absence of good hotels for solo tourists. In fact, the rise of sites like Airbnb might even be fuelling the popularity of solo travel, by providing a better and more affordable option for solo tourists where previously there was just a gap in the market.

Why are Australians so keen on solo travel?

While solo travel is becoming increasingly popular, 70% is still a lot by any standards and Australians seem to be on top of this new trend.

It might simply be that Australians are exceptionally good at travel. Adjusted for population, Australians have a knack for predicting global tourism trends by starting them.


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