Brits are flying solo

Brits are ready and willing to go it alone when it comes to holiday travel, latest research from Mintel reveals. This year, as many as 5 million Brits may holiday alone and the number of solo travellers has grown by as much as 5% over the past five years. The research shows that the volume of single holidaymakers increased from 4.9 million in 2004 to 5.1 million in 2008. The surge in singles breaks has been driven by rising demand among the singles population and an increasing supply of products targeted at this group.

Although small in overall holiday terms, solo travel is already significant within certain groups. Indeed, as many as a third of all those in single person households aged under 65 have holidayed alone. More than one in eight long-haul holidays are taken alone, compared to one in 20 holidays overall. The research also reveals solo travellers make a significantly high proportion of holidaymakers travelling to Scandinavia, Austria and Switzerland, Australasia, South-East Asia and Africa.

While economic slowdown over the past year has dampened growth in the solo travel sector – with many single income households particularly vulnerable to the impact of the recession – once the economy recovers momentum, the market is set to see further gradual growth. This will be supported by the shift towards singles and growing demand for special interest holidays.