What are solo travellers?

Solo travellers are an emerging group in the travel industry, as there are an increasing number of people who are single and not letting that stop them from visiting their favourite destinations.

Solo travellers use the experience of travel in a different way though. They are more apt to want to enjoy new experiences while they are abroad, and they focus on activities that allow them to be social and meet others.

Solo travellers are likely to be interested in niche travel experiences or specialty accommodations, such as boutique hotels or B&Bs. They want to indulge in their own personal interests and hobbies while also taking an opportunity to explore a new destination.

Small hotels, such as a bed and breakfasts, inns, and guesthouses, can benefit from specifically targeting this group within their marketing efforts.

Here’s what you need to know about these travellers and what you need to do to get them booking rooms at your small hotel!

Attract solo travellers and multiply your revenue

With a range of easy to use tools designed to put your hotel up in lights and boost bookings, Little Hotelier can ensure you capitalise on the growing solo traveller market.

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Why should your hotel target solo travellers? 

Pre-pandemic, solo travel had been trending upwards. And while COVID saw all forms of travel instantly decline, solo travel has been quick to bounce back, with no fewer than 83 million Americans – one in four citizens – considering a solo trip in the next year.

Solo travel accommodation is therefore a very good business to be in. But you don’t need to transform your property to cater exclusively to single guests – hotels for solo travellers take many forms, from hostels to 5-star escapes, and most will look to attract couples and group guests too.

The key is simply to make it easy for solo travellers to interact with other guests.

How are other hotels attracting solo travellers?

Recent studies revealed that the number of solo travellers has increased as much as 50% in some markets, and hotel brands across the globe are taking note.

In many cases, accommodation providers are adapting their public spaces and their amenities in order to appeal to travellers who may not be with anyone else.

Some are creating lounge areas designed for singles to mingle, while others are scheduling events that give people an opportunity to enjoy a meal together, have a few drinks and learn something new on their trip.

By creating a welcoming atmosphere that encourages interaction, hotels are able to bring more solo travellers to their property throughout the entire year.

Best hotels for solo travellers

What do the best hotels for solo travellers look like? Which destinations are the most popular amongst solo travellers? Let’s answer these questions to understand whether you’re in a popular destination, and how your hotel might better sell itself to the solo set.

Best hotels in New York for solo travellers

It’s hard to feel isolated in New York, a city of over 20 million people that famously never sleeps. Boasting a prime spot just a couple of blocks from Central Park, the International Youth Center Hostel is a basic option, but fantastic for people looking to meet like-minded travellers.

Best hotels in Bali for solo travellers

Solo travellers aren’t necessarily budget travellers, although the value offered in Bali, and specifically by the luxurious Bali Garden Beach Resort, means that everyone from backpackers to the top end of town can enjoy a truly special experience. Found on the beach at Kuta, this resort puts its guests in the centre of the local action, and offers plenty of pools, bars and restaurants for people to meet and mingle.

Best hotels in Rome for solo travellers

Rome is a haven for solo travellers looking to ingest the city’s sights, sounds and history. And at the Marcella Royal Hotel a solo guest enjoys one of the best views of the city, and the opportunity to meet fellow travellers, from the spectacular Terrazza Flavia Rooftop Garden.

Best hotels in Barcelona for solo travellers

One of the world’s most vibrant cities, Barcelona is a magnet for solo travellers. Hotel Via Augusta offers these adventurers a stunning and ultra-comfortable home in the trendy Gracia neighbourhood, and offers an oh-so-cute terrace where guests can relax and mingle.

Best hotels in Paris for solo travellers

Paris attracts travellers of all shapes and sizes, including solo guests, who often want to check out the fun of Montmartre. Hotel Migny Opera Montmartre is there to offer great quality, great value accommodation to this group, including cute shared spaces dotted around the property.

Best hotels in Amsterdam for solo travellers

Amsterdam is a long-time favourite of solo travellers, who enjoy indulging in the city’s liberalism with new friends. Monet Garden Hotel, with canalside bar, offers the ideal spot for a solo guest to kick off a day of adventure.

Best hotels in Dubai for solo travellers

In a city best known for its glitzy five-star hotels, Rove City Centre Hotel offers a very different option. A colourful and communal experience, this hotel offers solo travellers exactly what they need to enjoy Dubai, and does it at a great price.

Image representing hotels for solo travellers

How to sell your hotel to solo travellers

Single guests account for a significant portion of room bookings, from wedding-goers to family reunion attendees, to those who simply like an excuse to keep their own counsel once in a while.

Obviously, this presents a huge B&B marketing opportunity. If you’d like to encourage more solo travellers to visit your institution, it’s time to drum up a strategy to bring them in.

Here are great ways to do it:

1. Target them on social media

Driving people to your rooms could be as simple as selling the solo lifestyle through social media. The millennial group, which loves to jetset alone, will be especially responsive to tongue-in-cheek online hooks. Create events specifically designed for solo travellers, such as cocktail hours in the garden or trivia night in the lounge. Talk about them on social media in order to generate buzz!

Think “Don’t have a date to the wedding? Find one at our cosy Saturday brunch!” or “Looking for a hobbit hole for one? Book a room with us!”

2. Use solo traveller imagery on your site

If you plaster the standard ‘smiling family on a beach’ image all over your website, you’re not going to attract those singles you crave. Instead, use imagery of people enjoying their alone time: reading by a pool alone, hiking a scenic trail alone, receiving room service alone. Keyword here is; alone.

Update your website to appeal to solo travellers. Add a few vivid, happy photographs of solo guests enjoying your grounds or exploring the local area.

3. Offer community resources

While adventuring solo is great, that doesn’t mean the adventurer never wants any company. Put together a room pamphlet or activities to do in the area, so your guest can skim the list as soon as they show up. Better yet, send them an email package so they can get excited ahead of time.

After a guest books a room at your hotel, send them the information they need to know about making the most of their time in your community. Add in special events that you have coming up. Also send an email after your guests check out to request feedback and remind them to come back again someday.

4. Make a small world smaller

Host activities within your hotel as well. Your B&B attracts those who are looking for a simple, rustic lifestyle, with a taste of hearth and home (but away from the demands of hearth and home). Fill those homely urges with homemade treats, Scrabble and puzzle nights, and little social gatherings on the weekend.

5. Reassure them about alone time

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the socialites are those who come on vacation alone to truly be alone. Before they book with you, they may need some reassurance that they won’t have to spend all those precious vacation days in the presence of strangers. Highlight the privacy of your amenities, such as booking a spa date, spending time in the nature preserve or the least-packed breakfast times. Introverts will thank you for it.

It’s important to understand that as a small hotel, you will be a more attractive option for travellers who are exploring the world without a partner. You provide them with more opportunities to socialise, meet new people and immerse themselves in the local culture.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).