70% of mature solo women say the travel industry doesn’t understand their needs
TORONTO, ON — December 8, 2022 – A new global study conducted by JourneyWoman™, the world’s original solo women’s travel publication, shows that women over 50, who represent off-the-charts spending power, feel ignored and undervalued by the travel industry. In the JourneyWoman study, 70% of women said they feel that the travel industry doesn’t understand the needs of mature solo women over 50. Women also expressed concern about the lack of age-appropriate and diverse photography, a desire to see more appropriate terminology to describe older women and more emphasis on mobility and accessibility requirements.
JourneyWoman’s global study, “The Influence and Affluence of Solo Women 50+ in Travel”, shows that women over 50 are approaching post-pandemic travel with intention and purpose. Over 1,000 experienced female travellers, 87% over age 55, participated in the global study, which was conducted in October. Of these, 96% make the travel decisions in their household. Fueled by a desire to explore new, less-travelled destinations, women over 50 are planning travel in the first six months of 2023, with the UK, Europe and Scandinavia at the top of their bucket list.
“It’s time to relinquish the stereotypes and attitudes of the past and embrace the wisdom that these mature women bring to travel,“ says Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman. “Women over 50 are adventurous, curious and empowered to make their own financial decisions. Yet despite their spending power, most women feel the travel industry doesn’t understand their needs. As some of the world’s most experienced solo travellers, these women have both the responsibility and opportunity to use the power of their voice and their wallet to create sustainable change.”
“For almost 30 years, JourneyWoman has been an advocate and a voice for solo women travelers,” said Melissa DaSilva, President of TTC Tour Brands, North America, which sponsored the study and offers women-only trips through its Trafalgar and Insight Vacations brands. “As more women over 50 step into solo travel, we want to be at the forefront of positive change and support women with exciting opportunities for self-discovery and empowerment through travel, both as travellers and at the community level.”
The study also demonstrated that women over 50 are purposeful travellers, preferring more sustainable forms of travel, while supporting communities, locally owned hotels and restaurants and women-owned businesses. When it comes to group travel, most (38%) look for tour companies that offer women-only or solo trips for women, and look for companies that use female guides, work with local women entrepreneurs and have female leaders. While the destination is an important factor, women also identified reputation, safety and cleanliness as key considerations when choosing a group tour.
Key Highlights About Women 50+ from the Study
In 2023, women 50+ represent over $15 trillion in purchasing power and are experiencing the largest population growth over the next 10 years, according to a recent study conducted in the US by the Coca-Cola Group and Mass Mutual.
Women over 50 are empowered and most prefer to travel solo
- 53% of respondents are from the USA/32% Canada /4% Australia /2% US
- 87% are 55+, 90% are white with the remainder mixed race, Black or Asian
- 63% get their info about solo travel from websites or blogs
- 96% are the primary travel decision maker in their household
- 65% are single, widowed or divorced; 22% are married
- 44% said they travel solo, 31% travel with a partner, and 19% travel in a group
- The majority of solo travellers trust other women (73%), travel bloggers and friends and family for travel information.
Preferred Destinations + Activities
Women are seeking adventurous experiences in bucket list destinations
- 50% travel for their bucket list, and 37% are looking for somewhere new
- Top destinations include Europe/UK/Scandinavia/ Eastern Europe (65%), followed by North America (30%) and Asia Pacific including Australia and NZ (26%)
- Women over 50 are most interested in adventure travel, followed by sustainable/wildlife travel, Indigenous experiences and wellness
- When it comes to group travel, 38% of solo women prefer tour companies that offer women-only or solo trips for women
- Preferred accommodations include boutique hotels, homestays and bed and breakfasts over large resorts and cruise ships
Budgeting for travel
Solo women are value-conscious, willing to pay more and stay longer
- The majority of solo female travelers (58%) intend to travel 2-3 times a year and 69% said they plan to stay longer in one place
- While most (49%) solo women will spend approximately US$2,000 per week on travel, 51% will spend $3,000 or more per week on travel
- 47% plan week-long stays, 29% two-week stays and 12% plan monthly stays
- 52% look for a great deal
- 46% will pay more for their own room
Sponsored by Trafalgar Tours and WeTravel, this research reflects a primarily North American perspective but includes respondents from over 30 other countries. Completed in October 2022, “The Influence and Affluence of the Solo Female Traveler Over 50” invited experienced solo travelers to share perceptions on solo travel in an online study and in focus groups. The study was conducted based on a representative sample of JourneyWomen. With a sample size of over 1000, the published results are statistically significant at 95-99% confidence. JourneyWoman regularly conducts surveys on safety, budgeting, travel experiences and group tour preferences which can be found here.
Founded in 1994, JourneyWoman™ is the world’s first solo female travel resource and one of the most popular and trusted online women’s travel brands in the world. JourneyWoman also operates the world’s largest Women’s Travel Directory, with hundreds of women-friendly tours, retreats, guides and accommodations to support small tourism businesses around the world. To learn more, visit Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. JourneyWoman is a registered trademark of Journeywoman Enterprises Inc.
As the world’s most awarded and loved travel company, Trafalgar unlocks the best of the world for every traveller. From the iconic sites to breaking bread with locals at private Be My Guest experiences, guests can be assured of a dream holiday without the stress of ‘what ifs’. Committed to Make Travel Matter, Trafalgar aims to make a positive impact on locals, communities and wildlife visited, and the planet we call home. With tried and tested tours, created by local travel experts in destination and enjoyed by more than 5 million happy guests, Trafalgar’s proud to be recognised by its Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award. Trafalgar is part of the family-owned and run The Travel Corporation (TTC), driven by service for over one hundred years.
About Insight Vacations
As the global leader in premium tours, Insight Vacations delivers all the sights and insights of destinations up close and personal. Each tour is crafted in true comfort and style with premium 5 and 4 star hotels, small groups and customised coaches with extra leg room. The brand’s category leading dining options including the unique dine-around and dine-at-home experiences means that guests enjoy a culinary journey through the places they visit. An extensive Vegetarian option across all tour series further compliments the elevated dining offering. With a Make Travel Matter Experience®, that creates a positive impact for both the visitor and visited, plus also supports the United Nations sustainable Development Goals, included on each and every trip, Insight Vacations leads the way in immersive responsible travel. Insight Vacations is part of the family-owned and run The Travel Corporation (TTC), driven by service for over one hundred years.
WeTravel empowers small businesses to grow through technology. Founded in 2016 by three travelers who met at U.C. Berkeley—now with nearly 75 employees based in five continents, but headquartered in Europe and The United States—WeTravel is a vertical SaaS built exclusively for the multi-day travel market, used by more than 3,000 travel businesses of all sizes to provide an all-in-one platform to enhance business operations. WeTravel’s platform of SaaS and FinTech solutions empowers travel businesses to lead the best-possible customer journey through customizable booking pages, global payment collection and vendor transfers/payments.
Melannie Arolick, The Decker/Royal Agency, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Ray, CEO, JourneyWoman, Editor@journeywoman.com
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Please note that we use the terms “female” and “women” to refer to any individual who identifies as a woman or with femininity, including transgender and non-binary individuals. We always strive to use real photos from our own adventures, provided by the guest writer or from our personal travels. However, in some cases, due to photo quality, we must use stock photography. If you have any questions about the photography please let us know.
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