Operators are seeking to capitalise on booming demand for post-pandemic solo travel with new incentives and revamped solo offering.
Wendy Wu Tours’ global sales director, John Warr, revealed to TTG that nearly 50% of all the operator’s sales since April have been for solo travel.
Warr said clients were choosing to travel alone to have autonomy over any decision-making, and avoid the painstaking task of making harmonious travel plans during the coronavirus crisis.
Wendy Wu has included a dedicated solo collection in its new Japan brochure, and ditched single supplements on all departures across the entire range.
It is also offering dedicated solo departures on four of its flagship Japan itineraries. "Demand from solo travellers has risen exponentially," said Warr.
Other solo incentives include individual airport transfers, lounge access and welcome drinks.
Cox & Kings, meanwhile, is offering no single supplements on the first three solo places booked on its most popular trips – Treasures of Peru, Majestic Russia, Exotic India, and its Panama and Costa Rica Experience.
It comes after more than 2,500 of the operator and sister brand Abercrombie & Kent’s clients placed solo travel in the top three trip categories sought post-lockdown.
Kerry Golds, Cox & Kings managing director, said: “We have known for a long time solo travellers don’t feel they’re well catered for by the travel industry, with high single supplements often quoted as an example of this. It’s why we have operated dedicated solo travel departures for over six years now.
“Now, with the introduction of no single supplement for the first three places booked, solo travellers are keen not to miss out – our recent launch to our database generated a 220% uplift in enquiries for our 2021 programme from solo travellers, and some tours have already sold out.”
Solo travel specialist operator Just You has also strengthened its offering to solos with a new reassurance guarantee, including protected deposits; any customers who cancel up to 45 days prior to departure can carry their deposit over to another departure within the next 24 months.