International travel has almost reached pre-pandemic levels. Throughout 2022 and 2023, female travel dominated the tourism industry. According to a Forbes report, in 2022 64% of global travelers were female, versus 36% male. In this article, SheTravel will zero in on the latest female travel data and analyse emerging travel trends.
Europe is the destination of choice for women on their first solo trip. The Solo Female Travel Index rates European countries as the safest for lone travel. Conversely, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria are ranked the highest risk. However, it is worth noting that the index is potentially skewed by including variables such as ‘global peace’, which has meant countries such as Russia and Belorussia have been ranked as very dangerous for female travelers despite the fact there is no active conflict or high levels of female-targeted violence in these countries.
Women between the ages of 40-60 have seen the largest increase in travel. The average age of a female traveler from the UK is 57, likely to be related to disposable income and the increase in the number of women taking up early retirement. In a British Airways study of 9,000 18-64-year-olds from across the UK, US, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, India, and China, it was found that Italian women have traveled alone the most. Research by Condor Ferries has shown that only 11% of women traveling for business are business owners compared with the 15% of men.
Solo vs Group
Solo female travel has significantly increased with 45% of British women saying they are more likely to travel solo than they were 5 years ago, but group travel remains the norm. That said, women travel alone far more than men.
The rise in female travel over the decades is due to the improvement in women’s rights and socio-economic standing across the globe. The marketing of travel is largely aimed at women and studies show that women are more likely to save purposely for travel than their male counterparts.
How does this affect me?
The increase in women travelling overseas, especially alone, is very positive. Most trips are without incident, but caution is always strongly advised. Time spent researching your destination and preparing for your trip is rarely wasted. Our country library is a useful repository of information and specific safety advice for female travelers. Make use of our SheTravel Groups and Forums to gain insights from women who have been to your destination.