It’s never been easier for people to travel alone but finding a singles-friendly deal is not so straightforward, which is why five Travellers Choice members recently joined forces to launch the inaugural Solo Traveller Expo in Canberra.
Jamison Travel’s Michelle Everson says all of the Travellers Choice agencies worked hard to bring the event together, but nevertheless they harboured the usual fears that nobody would turn up – especially given it was a first-time event. Their fears proved unfounded, however, with more than 800 people attending the four-hour Expo.
“The crowd just about knocked the doors down, so it was an amazing relief,” says Everson, who conceived of the event in late 2017 after a ‘singles’ evening at her agency quickly booked out and customers clamoured to be on the waiting list.
“We had been seeing growing interest in solo travel, which was not surprising given that we serve an older demographic and unfortunately sometimes people’s partners are unable to travel or have passed away,” she says. “But we were still surprised at the level of demand, and how frustrated people were at the lack of options and the extra costs they face when travelling alone.”
The Solo Traveller Expo was supported by 25 leading suppliers – including APT, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Avalon Waterways, Back-Roads Touring Company and Norfolk Select Marketing – each of which offered information and tactical deals specifically for solo travellers.
The Travellers Choice marketing team and the group’s Business Development Manager for NSW/ACT Paula Moylan also helped promote the event.
Everson says the participating agencies – which along with Jamison Travel included Maria Slater Travel, Queanbeyan City Travel & Cruise, Travel Makers and Weston Cruise & Travel – have already started planning a 2019 Solo Traveller Expo.