More travellers are choosing to ‘go it alone’, either due to not having a partner to travel with them, or from choice.

The latest solo travel statistics published by Solo Traveler support this:

  • A study of 20 500 global travellers, released in May this year by Booking.com, shows that 40% of global baby boomers have taken a solo trip in the last year, with a further 21% planning to take one in the future. 34% of respondents said solo travel was among the top five trips that they had already been on and would like to go on again.
  • Booking.com also saw a large increase in female solo travellers.
  • Marketing firm MMGY Global conducted a study of 2 300 respondents, with around one in four saying they would travel solo in 2018.
  • The popularity of guided tours among solo travellers grew from 21% in 2013 to 46% in 2015.

Further to these, Hotelscan.com reported a 170% increase in solo traveller bookings over the past 12 months. LateRooms.com saw a 14% increase year-on-year to April 2018; and Airbnb saw an increase in solo guest bookings, with Johannesburg recording 135% growth. Google also reported that in January 2018, searches for ‘solo travel’ and ‘travel alone’ were the highest they’d ever been.

As changes in demand for single rooms in hotels and other accommodation spaces grow, there has been a change in the dynamic of coach transfers, with travellers now requesting and booking single seats. "Coach transfers have always been a popular form of travel in our region of operation, especially in the Kasane, Victoria Falls and Livingstone areas,” says Simon Teede, General Manager of Bushtracks Africa, Zimbabwe.

“We have definitely seen an increase in individual travellers and couples booking coach transfers. In fact, this type of transfer is becoming extremely popular in our regions compared with other areas in Africa, as well as other parts of the world. We are finding that single travellers, and couples, are moving away from taxis and toward coach transfers, presumably because we are an accountable and reliable form of travel, and we focus on ensuring our vehicles are some of the most comfortable modes of travel in the region.”

In addition to comfort, packaged tours give travellers the security of having an experienced company create an itinerary that will allow them to see some of the best sights and destinations in the African region where they are travelling, with an experienced and vetted driver to carry them between destinations. Many coach operators, such as City Sightseeing and Baz Bus, have a hop-on, hop-off approach, allowing visitors to explore sites that are of particular interest to them.