In recent years, the travel industry has witnessed a remarkable shift in the demographics of travellers. One particular group that has been gaining significant attention is solo women over 50, according to a recent survey from JourneyWoman.
Understanding the Mature 50+ Solo Female Traveler, published in DEC 2022, found that 73 per cent of women over 50 plan to travel internationally in 2023. To offset the rising costs of travel, women in this cohort are embracing a range of strategies, including off-season travel, less-travelled places and longer trips, with 81 per cent planning to travel more than two weeks per year.
“The world can learn a lot from these savvy, experienced, independent women,” says Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman. “Our research reveals that there are many ways destinations and tour companies can attract this highly desirable demographic, with focused incentives to stay longer and visit lesser-known places. By embracing travel in non-peak periods, women know that they can minimize the impact of travel on communities and plan more authentic and meaningful travel experiences.”
While 46 per cent of women over 50 spend over USD$3,000 (roughy CAD$4,075) per week on travel, they are actively seeking deals, redeeming credit card points and using loyalty programs to travel.
The survey found that the majority of women (39 per cent) book travel four to six months in advance and tend to book with hotels and airlines directly, not through aggregators or travel advisors.
The survey also revealed that while over 59 per cent of women over 50 take one or more group tours a year, solo women continue to be frustrated with the single supplement, ranking it their number one pet peeve, ahead of airline costs. When it comes to tours, women prefer smaller groups and 58 per cent say that accessibility and mobility considerations are very important (17 per cent) or moderately important (41 per cent).
Conversely, the survey revealed that 70 per cent of women over 50 felt ignored and undervalued by the travel industry, despite representing trillions in spending power.
JourneyWoman is a solo travel publication for women established in 1994. The full survey can be accessed here: Understanding the Mature 50+ Solo Female Traveler.