The number of females travelling alone is on the rise according to figures from Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), which has seen increasing trends in sole occupancy across its portfolio.
Between 2011 and 2012, the company saw growth in single-occupancy travel across the board in terms of both revenue and number of room nights, with the number of sole occupancy room nights jumping from 4,115 to 5,841, and revenue from global solo bookings increasing by almost $400,000 year-on-year.
In the company's core markets, the surge of female bookings is particularly notable, with a 53% increase in room nights booked by single occupancy females between 2011 and 2012 (from 973 room nights in 2011 to 1,489 room nights in 2012), compared to an increase of 38% in room nights by solo males across the same period.
According to the company, properties in the UK and US are the most popular for solo travellers of both genders, with 1,222 room nights in the US and 844 room nights in the UK last year. Following this, Australia is a favourable destination for solo female travellers, who spent in excess of $50,000 on SLH accommodation in 2012, while Germany is the hot country among male independent travellers, spending more than $65,000 in the same year.
According to the results of a survey on female travellers in the UK and US by CAP Strategic Research in 2011, women represent the most important and fastest growing segment of the travel market, in terms of both leisure and business travel. Not only did the survey find that 48% of travel website users are now women, but a significant 66% of women said that travel companies would see an increase in business if they tried harder to serve women travellers. However, as part of SLH's focus on creating unique luxury experiences for their guests, SLH properties are recognising the potential of this growing global trend and are now actively catering for women travellers. Women-only floors, for example, have been introduced at Naumi Hotel in Singapore, Dukes London, and The Chesterfield Palm Beach, while The Capital Hotel has created a list of local restaurants and bars that are particularly recommended for solo female travellers, as well as also offering a female private guide to accompany women guests to shops and museums on their first trip to London.
Meanwhile, The Chester Grosvenor finds that the service offered by its female chauffeur is particularly appreciated by women staying alone as they feel more comfortable with a woman in the close environment of a car.
Packages tailored especially towards its female guests are also a particularly popular offering at SLH hotels, such as The Women’s Shopping Package at Das Tyrol, located on Vienna’s longest shopping street, and a Mediterranean culinary journey exclusively for women at La Maltese Estate in Santorini. Meanwhile, Grand Hotel Toplice holds a weekly ladies day at the Bled Golf Club, Slovenia’s oldest and largest course, while at Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica, solo female travellers are encouraged to embrace the local communities surrounding the property.