A new tour company is to offer dedicated group tours for women.
Travel Trust Association member Travel Queen, which will specialise in Thailand but has plans to diversify, will run its first woman-only tour in Thailand in November.
Owner Mel Stephens soft-launched the business last year after her own experiences as a solo traveller. “Many women past their 20s drift into the habit of forgetting about the importance of their own happiness and making time for themselves, putting all their energy into striving for success and equal pay at work, being in a relationship or starting a family… sometimes they lose a little identity or independence,” she said.
“Following lots of travelling with others when I was younger, when I found myself newly single in my early 30s I decided to go travelling for the first time on my own to do something just for me.
“I did so much research to find group tours where I wouldn’t feel old among a load of 18-year-old backpackers, but also wouldn’t end up on a trip with just retirees. I was amazed to find no one offering what I was looking for.”
Stephens added that her tours are not just for single people, with many women interested in joining a tour because their partner can’t or won’t take time away from work, or “just isn’t as adventurous as them”.
“Or perhaps they just want to do something for themselves and have a break with other women,” she added.
Stephens creates the tours directly via contacts in the destination, and is keen to work with agents. In due course, she plans to expand the team and offer new destinations.
She is holding a competition for women aged 25-55 to “become a Travel Queen in 2018” and win a place on the inaugural 14-night tour from November 8-21. Entrants should explain why they deserve such a tour. The entry can be a short story, poem, video, gallery, or even a song, but it must feature the woman entering.
Entries need to be shared on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #TravelQueenIn2018. The closing date for entries is March 31.
“I hope the competition empowers women to do something amazing just for them this year and that it creates a fun, positive vibe around female empowerment,” added Stephens.