Growth of information, ease of access and bookings, growth of mobile as a preferred device for holiday researching accommodation options has contributed to the solo women travel trend
On account of Women’s Day on March 8, 2016, HolidayIQ conducted a survey investigating women travellers’ expectations and insights on Indian tourism. The survey saw more than 20,000 participants from over 30 Indian cities and towns. Some of the questions as part of the survey were central based questions like better and safer accommodation options, better transport and expressways, safe solo travel and better accessibility to off-beat destinations amongst others.
Safe solo travel
Women travelling alone in India has increased with a share of 29 per cent of holidays planned as compared to 18 per cent the previous year. As solo road trips is seen gaining momentum with more and more women travelling, 72 per cent women demand safe solo travel.
Safe accommodation options
Growth of information, ease of access and bookings, growth of mobile as a preferred device for holiday researching accommodation options has contributed to the solo women travel trend. Hotels and resorts continue to be the popular choice as a holiday accommodation option accounting for over 60 per cent of trips planned. However, in the last 18-24 months there is an interest in alternate accommodation options such as homestays, experiential resorts, camps, serviced apartments, jungle lodges and the like. Concerns about safety or accessibility are unfounded because one can read reviews of an accommodation option by other travellers who have been to homestays. In the survey, 18 per cent of women travellers demanded safe accommodation options.
Better access to remote destinations
Women travellers are seeking rare experiences and 61 per cent feel the necessity for better accessibility to remote destinations. While they are heading out on multiple weekend getaways throughout the year, exploring and discovering possibilities for adventure activity holidays, more interest is seen in off-beat destinations where women travellers are exploring pop culture tourism and other experience-led activities.
Clean buses and trains
Of the 2.4 billion people in the world who have no toilets, India accounts for nearly 600 million. It was noted that women travellers are increasingly turning away from train journeys as compared to last year due to the hygiene aspects. The survey revealed that 55 per cent of women travellers want clean buses and trains.
More women tourist guides
As destinations such as Kerala, Goa, Puducherry, Manali, Auli, Shimla, Corbett, Bandipur, Coorg are favorites among women travellers; it is imperative to have more women tourist guides. In the survey, 49 per cent of women travellers demanded more women tourist guides.
The proliferation of smartphones, better internet penetration and arrival of a plethora of travel apps has created a new era in travel. Today travellers expect to be able to use their mobile devices to access travel-related information, to smoothen their journey and enhance their experience while on the move. The top three uses of Wi-Fi are travel research, navigation and access to social media. It was relvealed that 47 per cent of women travellers demand for Wi-Fi hubs as women turn to internet and apps more than people for holiday advice.
Women taxi drivers
As easy-to-use on-demand and sharing economy apps make getting around and staying in new cities convenient, 45 per cent of women travellers want women taxi drivers.
Women-only buses and trains
With more Indian women travelling and while they share their travel experiences, safety and security are a prime concern while planning any kind of holiday. As women trips continue to gain momentum in 2016 and the average trip length has also increased to be five-seven days, 28 per cent women travellers demand women-only transport.