More and more women prefer adventurous solo travel
According to Cynthia Dunbar, General Manager of REI Adventures – a company specializing in training and organizing backpacking and wild travel, since 2010, the number of women wanting adventurous travel has increased by 60% and still steadily increased over the years. Last year alone, women accounted for 58% of the total her guests.
Facing this trend, REI Adventures began designing a series of trips exclusively for women. Female tour guides will teach them how to climb mountains or use mountain bikes. They can also join a group of women for a hiking tour through the mountains of southern New Zealand, mountain biking in the Grand Canyon or on California's sacred volcano Shasta.
In addition to REI, many other adventurous travel companies also welcome a large number of female tourists. Tourism company VBT is famous for its 6-hour cycling journey through rural France with 60% of customers being women. Women who participate in the walking journeys of Country Walkers also account for 67% of the total guests. They can easily conquer long journeys on the beautiful mountains of Switzerland. The number of female tourists looking to these two companies has increased by 5% each year.
The number of female guests booking the trip to climb Kilimanjaro and watch wildlife in Serengeti National Park, Africa of Intrepid Travel has also increased. Meanwhile, DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co, a company providing high-grade bicycle service has have 35% more female visitors in the past 3 years. Many of them booked a 6-day trip to ride 40 - 100 km a day.
According to Leigh Barnes, Chief Purpose Officer of Intrepid Travel, women in particular and tourists in general have a small number of holidays and they want to find different types of experiences. These experiences are getting more and more daring. Even in the famous Spartan Races - where participants are required to run on mud and jump over fire, the number of female players has also jumped 30% over the past year.
More remarkably, these women are willing to embark on adventurous trips without any companion. According to VBT, 68% of its female customers are solo travelers, while Country Walkers has 87% of female participants taking part in the trips alone.
Women started their journey alone, but they could come and gather together as a tour group. When women travel together, although they are completely unfamiliar people, they are more likely to become closer than groups with both men and women. Women can support each other to participate in activities they have never done, to experience new adventures.
According to Chris Skilling, VBT's Vice President of Worldwide Product, the trend of women interested in adventure tourism is the effect of a society increasingly focusing on the process of learning and self-discovery. An active vacation helps people feel less isolated than a car trip or a resort. Participating in outdoor activities has the ability to connect people with each other instantly, which is something that just sitting on the bus and looking through the window can't do.
In addition, the number of female tour guides has also increased dramatically. This fall, Lentine Alexis - a famous cyclist and pastry chef - will lead DuVine's first women bike group through Sonoma, USA. Snowmass Bike Park also has 5 female bicycle specialists in the staff. While Big Five Tours & Expeditions hire female tour guides for their tour groups to Cairo, Egypt and Delhi, India.
It can be seen that women have started moving into areas once occupied by only men. Female tourists have the ability to influence women in their localities, contributing to spreading subtly positive messages about feminism.
By: Mithrine Smith