Solo travel is on the rise across the world, including in and to Africa. Amadeus looks at how travel consultants can best help these travellers with advice and information.
Hostelworld reported a 42% increase in solo traveller bookings between 2016-2018 and Intrepid Travel has seen a 40% growth in solo travel over the past five years.
US-based tour operators organising travel to Africa, have reported they have seen an increase in demand for solo travel to Africa specifically. One tour operator said: “Solo travelers are looking for great wildlife experiences just like anyone else. One of the greatest draws of Africa for solo travelers is the fact that most activities are shared with other people. Game drives are shared experiences. We can also pinpoint camps that offer communal dining to make solo travelers feel part of the group. There are always people to talk to and I think that’s interesting and perfect for solo travelers.”
Safari Expert Go2Africa has also said numbers are inching up every year as solo travellers look to East and Southern Africa for experiences they can have nowhere else on the planet. Many of these are seasoned travellers and now that they are older, have the funds and time to see Africa.
When questioned on their most pressing fears concerning traveling alone, a survey of 2,000 travellers by ATTA found that 73% of travellers worry about their safety, 53% worry about getting lost and 39% worry about the stress involved in planning a trip.
Amadeus research corroborates this, with many travellers identifying safety as an element of their trips they take extremely seriously, and suggesting advice on how to stay safe in Destination X would be highly valuable:
- “It would be great to get advice on how to stay safe while on a trip.”
- “The aspect of safety for female travelers is especially important when going to and moving around a destination – this information also needs to be shared.”
Whether going solo or as a group Amadeus has identified ways destination service providers can enhance how they provide safety information to everyone:
Ensure current information about security conditions is properly balanced with older historical data for context, being careful not to frighten travellers or underestimate potential risks.
Optimise push, chat, and voice channels, so in the event of, for example, civil unrest or a natural disaster, the information for travellers is responsive and integrated into the relevant destination service.
Offering assistance via AI and machine learning is worth considering. Perhaps a traveller is scheduled to go somewhere unfamiliar on business and wants to extend their trip a day or two for leisure – is it safe? There is a real opportunity to introduce ancillary recommendations, advice, and guidelines for Destination X based on a traveller’s safety profile.