After growing by a whopping 600 per cent in the span of just three years, Just You Holidays, sister company to G Adventures, has launched 11 new itineraries, with seven of those featured in the 2020 brochure. The remaining four will be available online.
As a result of its immense success in the Canadian market, the U.K tour operator, which specializes in solo holidays, also announced that it's planning on launching in the U.S. in November or December of this year.
"If you want to be ahead of the trends, it's time to focus on solo travel, because that's where the future is going," said Nick Roberti, national sales manager, Just You, during a recent media luncheon here in Toronto.
The following new itineraries are as follows:
- Corfu, Zagori, & Meteora
- Splendours of Spain
- Istanbul, Troy, & Ephesus
- Uzbekistan and the Silk Route
- The Ultimate Italy
- Rome, Naples, & the Amalfi Coast
- Flavours of Mallorca
Solo, but not single
According to Roberti, one of the biggest misconceptions about solo travel is that it's only for single, or unmarried people.
But, as the latest statistics compiled by the company reveal, there's a growing market of adventurers who are choosing to explore the world on their own, simply because their partner, friends, or family's schedules don't line up, or there's a difference in travel tastes.
"Twenty per cent of our clientele is actually married," Roberti explained. "The demographic of our solo travellers is also getting younger; we're starting to see 45 and older, not 65 and older." Interesting to note is the fact that female solo travellers make up 80 per cent of Just You's business.
Statistics Canada also reported that 52 per cent of Canadian adults are either single, seperated, widowed, or divorced.
Just You's Solo Travel Trend Report, done in partnership with Solo Traveller, further reveals that 59 per cent of those who travel solo do so because they don't want to wait for others to be ready to see the world when it's convenient; 45 per cent like the idea of doing what they want, when they want; 27 per cent have different tastes than their friends; 20 per cent love the idea of meeting like-minded people on the road; and 13 per cent say their partner can't do the journey with them.
Only 10 per cent have actually never travelled solo, further proving that solo travel is indeed one of the hottest trends on the market, and something that travel advisors can easily start taking advantage of.
Europe continues to be the most popular choice for solo travel, representing 30 per cent of those surveyed by Just You. The second largest group of respondents listed "Undecided", which opens up a world of possibility for agent partners.
How agents can help
Much like solo travel, independent, direct consumer bookings are also on the rise — Just You's data reports that 60 per cent of their surveyors book all aspects of their trips independently.
But Roberti says this doesn't discourage the company.
"Only 11.68 per cent of surveyors from the Solo Travel trends Report 2018 are booking through an agency, and Just You is here to support agents on getting the remaining 89 per cent of those opportunities through the door," Roberti said.
So, how can agents get involved?
"Solo travellers think that because they're on their own, they have to book on their own, too, but that's not the case," Roberti explained. "They just need to know that your agency is a solo travel specialist, because right now, they [consumers] don't feel supported enough by the agencies."
To help, Just You has added a one-on-one solo travel club that provides materials to agents, and helps them to become solo travel specialists. To become a solo travel specialist with Just You, agents must complete two of the four:
- Manage a solo travel club
- Participate in a solo specialist webinar
- 20 Just You passengers departed in one year
- Participate in a Just You FAM experience
Even more ways for agents to get involved
This year, Just You is planning two FAMs: one to Croatia, and the other to Spain.
There's also a designated Facebook page for travel agents. There are three upcoming Solo Specialist webinars: November 15, December 6, and January 10. For the month of November, Just You is also offering a special agent incentive, which gives agents a $25 giftcard for retail bookings.
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