Increase in solo travellers
25th February 2009
Over-55s operator Grand UK Holidays has seen a 55% rise in solo travellers booking early 2009 breaks, as they seek to put a spring in their step.
Over its 25-year history, Grand UK has catered for such holidaymakers with its policy of no single supplements on all UK breaks. It also offers dedicated ‘Specially for Singles’ holidays.
Bookings from solo travellers have risen over recent years, and Grand UK Holidays added extra single rooms to its current autumn and winter programme to cater for demand.That trend is set to continue with bookings from solo travellers rising by 55% year-on-year for the spring 2009 period.
Sales director Harold Burke said: “The over-55s age group is a growing market, and we’re finding more and more of them are happy to travel alone as they know it won’t cost them any more.
“A significant proportion of our customers are single, widowed or divorced – or just fancy a holiday without their other half.
“They’re alone but certainly not lonely, as our Tour Managers and fellow holidaymakers ensure there is a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.”
Grand UK’s ‘Specially for Singles’ holidays are perennial favourites, with some solo travellers booking every year. Departures are in March, April and May, featuring resorts such as Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Llandrindod Wells, Blackpool, Isle of Wight and Scarborough. Prices start from £189 for a five-day half-board break and the operator also arranges special group departures for the trade.
Other breaks selling well are those aimed at the health-conscious who may want to shed a few pounds after the festive period. These include the ‘Fun and Fitness’ break in Torquay in April, costing from £215.
If travellers are looking at their budgets, then an all-inclusive break offers great value for money. These cost £219 for five days on a full-board basis at hotels across the UK.
“With sterling weak against the euro, we expect our extensive domestic programme to be even more in demand in 2009,” said Burke.
“We’ve also seen several surveys pointing to the resilience of the grey market, including one from PricewaterhouseCoopers which said the over-65s are the most determined to prioritise holidays in 2009.
“We’re taking record numbers away for this Christmas period, which bodes well for the forthcoming year. The combination of our domestic programme and demographic target market puts us in an ideal position to ride out the downturn.”