Booking.com shouts out women travelling alone

The accommodation site found around 50% of Canadian women would like to take a trip by themselves within the year.

There’s a light tone to the new “Brianless” campaign for Booking.com about a female living it up on vacation without her boyfriend, but it’s grounded in surveys that show solo female travel in Canada is increasing.

According to the reports commissioned by the Amsterdam-based accommodation booking site, 76% of Canadian women reported having travelled solo in the past and half were considering a solo vacation in the next 12 months.

The data gleaned from the Vision Critical survey of men and women ages 25 to 45 from the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia and Germany who have travelled in the past 12 months, as well as the findings of a poll of Booking.com users, provides interesting insights for travel and tourism marketers. More than 500 Canadian women were included in the survey.

Canadians tied for top spot with Australians for travelling solo in the past. And it seems the majority of Canadian females are looking for a stress-free trip, with 41% viewing solo travel as a way to escape their daily lives and set their own agenda, while 40% say they would go on a solo vacation to have time for themselves.

A rise in solo female travel can in part be attributed to social media, according to the survey, with 70% of respondents saying they use social platforms to keep in touch with family and friends, and more than half saying social media and digital technology makes them feel safer when travelling.

The study also found Canadian females travelling alone are more likely to check into a spa retreat or go on a beach holiday or city escape. They were not as keen on high-impact activities such as sports or hiking.

Interestingly, given the tone of the new ad, just 6% of Canadian women who have travelled solo said the main reason for their trip was time away from their partner, says Paul Hennessy, CMO, Booking.com.

The spot by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam airing in the U.S., U.K. and Australia and the brand’s YouTube channel has a humorous take on the survey, telling the story of a female traveller, Jen, whose boyfriend, Brian, doesn’t enjoy the same types of travel as her. Jen ploughs through oysters, goes horseback riding and gets down on the dance floor, all by her lonesome.

Hennessey says the main goal of the spot is to champion solo female travel, a “phenomenon” he says is here to stay, and highlight that she can find the perfect accommodation using the site. It’s part of the larger “Booking.Yeah” campaign that aims to demonstrate the site has something for everyone, Hennessy adds.