Following new research, international travel company Lonely Planet has called on the travel industry to do more to cater for solo travellers.
The research reveals that a growing number of solo travellers face higher costs than those travelling with family or friends, such as an average of nearly 20 percent on travel insurance and more than 50 percent on accommodation.
“Travelling solo can be one of the most rewarding ways of experiencing any destination, and most travellers will find themselves alone on the road at some point in their travelling lives, but sadly a significant number of travellers cite a lack of choice or increased cost as a barrier to this type of travel,” Lonely Planet spokesperson Chris Zeiher says.
Lonely Planet surveyed members of their global community of travellers, with more than one in three Australian respondents claiming to have felt disadvantaged when travelling alone.
Examples of poor service cited by respondents included lack of choice in organised excursions and poor service in restaurants and bars, with some solo travellers even being refused bookings.
One in two Australian travellers said that they had to pay a single person supplement when travelling alone, with 90 percent of respondents saying they would look more positively on companies that did not charge this.
Despite these challenges, solo travel is on the rise, and Lonely Planet has compiled its top tips in The Solo Travel Handbook published this month, which includes practical and inspirational expert advice.
The travel company is also calling on the industry to look more positively on solo travellers, rather than just single occupants of rooms and dinner tables.
“Over the coming years we expect the desire to travel alone to continue its growth, setting the challenge for tourism providers to better serve this popular and lucrative travel trend.”