Women Travel Statistics Explained by Travel Expert

Women’s Spending Power                         Latest Stats Below.  Scroll DOWN.

  • Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care
  • Women represent the majority of the online mark*

Women– young, old, single, married, widowed and gutsy are fueling an explosive growth in travel industry.Estimates are that women will spend some $125 billion on travel in the next year.

Whether we are single or married, career women or stay-at-home moms, traveling with other women is empowering and good fun!

Whether we are single or married, career women or stay-at-home moms, traveling with other women is empowering and good fun!

80% of all travel decisions are made by women.

Regardless of :
• who they travel with
• who pays for the trip
• or where they go

A woman is the decision maker.

75% of those who take cultural,
adventure or nature trips are women.

There has been a 230% increase in the number of women-only travel companies in past six years.

With 67 million participants, the potential of the women’s market exceeds $19 trillion annually.

Women also travel differently than men do.

87% of women say they go for the beautiful scenery, compared with 72% of men,
According to Market Researcher Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell.

While statistics are limited, an estimated 32 million single American women traveled at least once in the last year, and about three in 10 made tracks five times or more, according to the Travel Industry Association.

Bachelorette-hood: The number of single women age 35 and older has been increasing and now totals 28 million, the Census Bureau says.

The average adventure traveler is not a 28-year old male, but a 47-year-old female. And she wears a size 12 dress.

Women spend an average of $295 annually per individual on outdoor apparel and equipment, according to OutdoorIndustry.org

Who’s Traveling?

- Many older women are also experiencing this rite of passage.
- An increasing portion of solo female travelers are Baby Boomers and single mothers.

The travel industry is just waking up to the economic power of women.

Latest Statistics

February 2013.

According to Intrepid Travel, who booked over 100,00 US passengers for 2012,  63% were female (this is on par with the global figure of 64%).  The majority of our travellers are aged between 25 – 39 (46%).  So female travelers between the ages of 25 and 39 are their biggest market.

The girlfriend getaway market represent a significant amount of money – four percent of all U.S. travel spending, which is almost $200 million a year. 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years, and 39 percent of American women plan on taking one in the next three years. Source: AAA Girlfriend Travel Research Project #070005

Over 80% of those working women who purchased travel products or services offline in the past month researched their purchases online beforehand. Sources: Nielsen Net Ratings/WashingtonPost.com and Newsweek.com

Don’t forget. An effective way to reach your female audience is through online community sites. According to comScore, women’s community sites jumped 35 percent, particularly Glam Media and iVillage.com.

Research about women’s travel trends is fragmented by age, activities, and nationality.

Tour operators and travel  agent research indicates that:

70% of travel decisions of made by women. This statistic applies to women who are booking cruises, group travel, tours or tickets through an agent. When you add in online travel purchases, the amount rises to 92%.

From a 2013  PULSE POLL: SOLO TRAVEL TRENDS 

By Travel Guard Worldwide, Inc., a Chartis company offering  travel insurance. Travel Guard polled travel agents to learn more about women’s travel habits.

Flying Solo: Traveling alone has become commonplace, with more than half (59%) of agents polled noting that they’ve seen more of their clients are traveling by themselves now compared to 10 years ago. This trend can be attributed to travelers’ life changes, as 43% of agents polled reported that the majority of clients traveling alone are doing so because they are now widowed or divorced.

Other reasons for traveling alone include travelers’ desire to follow their own schedule (17%), because they have more time to travel than their friends or family members (15%) or because they are traveling to pursue a specific interest (14%). Despite how solo travel has been romanticized in pop culture, very few agents reported clients traveling on their own in order to visit an unusual or emerging destination (6%) or to reconnect with themselves (4%).

Battle of the Sexes: Agents reported that it’s much more common for woman to travel alone than men, with 73% of agents polled noting that more female travelers embark on solo trips than their male counterparts.

 Golden Years: According to 44% of agents polled, most of their clients taking solo trips are 55 years of age or older, followed by those 45-55 (29%), 35-45 (18%), 25-34 (9%) and 18-24 years of age (0.4%).

Across the Pond: Nearly half (45 %) of agents polled noted Europe as the most popular destination for clients booking solo travel, followed closely by Mexico / Caribbean (33%) and the United States / Canada (15%). Surprisingly, more exotic destinations like Africa, Asia, Central or South America and the South Pacific ( all 2%) were cited as destinations less traveled. Agents reported the most common types of accommodations for solo travelers are resorts or full service hotels (46%) and cruises (40%), with limited service hotels (10%) hostels or guest houses (3%) and apartment or room rental direct from owner (2%) being much less common.

Budget Friendly: When booking travel alone, the majority of agents polled (82%) noted that their clients spend less than $4,999 on travel, with 16% of agents citing their clients have a larger budget of $5,000 – $9,999. A mere 2% of agents saw clients spend more than $10,000 on the average solo trip.

Play it Safe: When traveling alone, it’s no surprise that nearly half of agents polled (47%) noted a traveler’s greatest concern as encountering a dangerous situation without a travel companion to help. Additional concerns include medical emergencies (23%), potential flight delays or cancellations (24%), lost or stolen travel documents (4%) and lost luggage (3%). G iven these concerns, it’s not surprising that the majority of agents (87%) reported that their clients typically purchase a travel insurance policy when embarking on a trip alone.

2012  PULSE POLL: WOMEN’S TRAVEL HABITS by Travel Guard
by the insurance company Travel Guard polled travel agents to learn more about women’s travel habits.
Results are below.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Women often travel together, and it is no different when it comes to booking trips. According to travel agents, the majority (91%) of female clients who book trips with other females are traveling with their friends, while only 8% are traveling with relatives.

Gutsy Traveler (HEY, thanks for using my website name and branding in your study!!) : According to the majority (55%) of travel agents, the most common reason women travel solo is because they value their independence and are sophisticated enough to travel alone. Some agents (28%) believe it is because they are interested in visiting an unusual destination, while 9% indicated their clients do so because they prefer making their own schedule. Only 4% of travel agents noted their female clients travel solo to reconnect with themselves.

Shop ‘Til You Drop: When women book travel, the majority (27%) of travel agents believe sightseeing and shopping are the most popular activities, as opposed to 1% who believe women book travel for voluntourism. Travel agents noted their female clients booking solo and group trips travel for a variety of reasons, including history, culture and education (17%), beach escapes (16%), adventure travel (15%) and cruises (13%).

Golden Years: According to 68% of travel agents, most female clients taking trips in small groups are over the age of 45. Women ranging between 35-44 years old make up 26% of those traveling in groups, while 5% are between the ages of 25-34. Only 1% are between 18-24 years old. Following the same trend, the majority (81%) of solo female travel clients are over 45 years old, while only 13% are between 35-44 years old. Only 6% of solo travelers are between 25-34, and 1% are between 18-24 years old.
Contact me for more up-to-date statistics, I keep track of many sources.

* Quote from Marketing2Women http://www.m2w.biz/

 

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Category: Girlfriend Getaways

About the Author ()

Marybeth Bond, the Gutsy Traveler, National Geographic author of 11 travel books, featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of the Online Travel Magazine www.GutsyTraveler.com She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to CNN, CNN Airport Network and CNN.com Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked two months across the USA, traveler to over 90 countries, media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.

Comments (28)

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  1. Karen McCann says:

    In addition to travelling, many single women are now choosing to live abroad. I moved to Seville in 2004, and my social circle is full of women who chose to leave their home country at various stages of life, from students to women in mid-career with Internet enterprises to those retiring in their sixties or seventies. A small expat community is perfect for single women, providing a built-in support network. It’s one of the things I most enjoy about living abroad.

    Karen McCann
    enjoylivingabroad.com

    • Thanks for writing Karen,
      Where were you living before Seville?
      Amazing, because just yesterday I was with a group of women who were all discussing female friends or relatives who have moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and beyond.
      What activities to you do with the expat community in Seville? Exciting to live abroad. BRAVO for your gutsy life.
      Cheers, mb

  2. Kathryn Sedman says:

    Have you any links to sites which would advertise the accommodation that I am offering? I want to offer a room in my house in an 18th century canal house in centre of Amsterdam. Marbled and chandeliered entrance. I travelled around the USA renting rooms from wimmin – and would now like to invite some visitors to my house.

  3. Becki says:

    Hi Marybeth,

    Are these statistics for the last couple of years? If not, do you have (or know where I can find) the latest travel statistics for solo women travelers?

    Thanks,

  4. Shubhra Das says:

    Wonderful article ! really knowing the facts and changing things happens gradually. Female power has always been recognized and honored and is saluted by everyone but when it comes giving women equal positions in society it still given a second thought. Women in INDIA are proving themselves and males have started accepting females to work hand in hand and make decisions. I hope Indian women will find the power to go on travel abroad. Cheers all .

  5. Go girrrl! Words that led me to my move from Australia to re-invent myself following the death of my youngest son to cancer and the final unraveling of a woeful marriage. Now I have a fabulous husband and together we run a culinary destination in Morocco for foodies, offering swell holidays for women, inter alia, wanting the very time of their lives, at a pace and indulgence that they choose!Celebrating the goddess that we all actually are! Brunch on the terrace in your nightie, why not! Shopping trips re-tracing our steps without comment, cooking classes and Thelma and Louise road trips without the canyon ending…we’d love to have you all come to stay!

    • You have me dreaming of tagine and Moroccan food! Bravo for picking up and taking charge of your life and look where it has led you. What a great story. Thanks for your very kind words. I never know exactly where I’m going (that is metaphoric too) and will be in touch if my plans take me to Morocco. I would love to do a cooking class with you. I studied the Seated Mother Goddess of Çatal Hüyük in a class and was fascinated. I agree that there is a god, or goddess in all of us. A divinity.
      You made my day. Thanks for reaching out.
      I have a charming story Marrakesh Mama in my book Gutsy Women, about an encounter with a lovely Moroccan mother.
      Keep in touch. Happy Travels.
      All the best, MB

    • Debbie Lowe says:

      Forced into a divorced after 35 years of marriage, I find myself asking, “O.K., What’s next?!” Would love to travel, but not sure about doing so alone. I love cooking, gardening, photography, and biking. I would love a trip, where cooking and biking were involved.
      Can you give me more information on your Moroccon destination?

  6. Anita Mac says:

    That is fascinating. Glad to see more and more women out there. Have been noticing the trend, but cool to see the numbers. Way to go ladies!

  7. Thanks so much for publishing this Mary Beth. I truly, truly appreciate it. As a travel blogger, I have always written for the middle-aged female adventure traveller — while so many of my colleagues and the travel industry in general seem to want to appeal to the young, male hipster. You MADE MY DAY! I feel validated and vindicated. :)

    • We’re writing for the bulk of the adventure travelers Marielle! And this demographic has the time, money and curiosity to travel extensively.
      My wish is for more women to feel empowered and to know it’s not so hard to travel; with a group, a companion, a volunteer group or alone.
      The world is ours and our time is not unlimited to enjoy it! Cheers,

  8. Hi Marybeth,

    Excellent article! Would you mind sharing where you got your stats for the beginning of the article? I’d like to follow those websites in addition to GutsyTraveler for future reference. Also, my site’s fairly new, but if you need any info from me, I’d love to help.

    Wishing you all the best!

    Darcie Connell

    • My sources are all at the end of the article.
      Here they are for you: February 2013.

      According to Intrepid Travel, who booked over 100,00 US passengers for 2012, 63% were female (this is on par with the global figure of 64%). The majority of our travellers are aged between 25 – 39 (46%). So female travelers between the ages of 25 and 39 are their biggest market.

      The girlfriend getaway market represent a significant amount of money – four percent of all U.S. travel spending, which is almost $200 million a year. 24 percent of American women have taken a girlfriend getaway in the past three years, and 39 percent of American women plan on taking one in the next three years. Source: AAA Girlfriend Travel Research Project #070005

      Over 80% of those working women who purchased travel products or services offline in the past month researched their purchases online beforehand. Sources: Nielsen Net Ratings/WashingtonPost.com and Newsweek.com

      Don’t forget. An effective way to reach your female audience is through online community sites. According to comScore, women’s community sites jumped 35 percent, particularly Glam Media and iVillage.com.

      Research about women’s travel trends is fragmented by age, activities, and nationality.

      Tour operators and travel agent research indicates that:

      70% of travel decisions of made by women. This statistic applies to women who are booking cruises, group travel, tours or tickets through an agent. When you add in online travel purchases, the amount rises to 92%.

      From a 2011 study by Nielsen

      Women of Tomorrow: A Study of Women Around the World

      “Women control the majority of purchasing decisions in a household and their influence is growing. Women across the world are expanding beyond traditional roles to influence decisions in the home, in business and in politics. Marketers have a massive opportunity to better connect women with the products they buy and the media technologies they use to make a positive impact both in their lives and in the bottom line.”

      According to the Marketing to Women Conference **Nielsen/NetRatings

    • Thanks Darcie, Thanks for following my travels and enjoying the tips. Best, MB

  9. Jerome Pilling says:

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  10. Thank you for all of this wonderful information! I have just started a female solo travel site. I am surprised to see such a low number of female solo travelers in my age group, I’m 33. Your right on with the reason of many women not traveling solo because of fear. I did a poll on that myself and it was mostly fear of safety and also being bored, no one to talk or nothing to do. I’m curious to know what are the statistics of African American women that are solo travelers? It has definitely become more popular amongst us, me being African Anerican myself and solo traveler, but I still feel like it is still something kind of new and foreign to AA women. Thanks got your time and again great article!

  11. Thank you for all of this wonderful information! I have just started a female solo travel site. I am surprised to see such a low number of female solo travelers in my age group, I’m 33. Your right on with the reason of many women not traveling solo because of fear. I did a poll on that myself and it was mostly fear of safety and also being bored, no one to talk or nothing to do. I’m curious to know what are the statistics of African American women that are solo travelers? It has definitely become more popular amongst us, me being African Anerican myself and a solo traveler, but I still feel like it is still something kind of new and foreign to AA women. Thanks for your time and again great article!

    • HI Pamela,
      Actually a lot of women travel solo and you’ll meet them if you take off too. It’s not as scarey or lonely as you imagine. And you meet so many more people because you are more approachable when you’re alone. I’ve met African American women in Europe traveling alone. I hope you’ll consider it. Much better than staying home! Cheers, mb

  12. Lance says:

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to
    new updates.

  13. It’s hard to come by educated people about this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

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