New Trend: More Women are Traveling Solo

Mar 31, 2009, 07:38 ET from Overseas Adventure Travel

CEO Reports Actions Taken To Increase Value And Appeal

BOSTON, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Vince Cook, CEO of Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) and Grand Circle Travel (GCT), the leading international travel companies for Americans over 50, today reported an increase in women travelers in the past two years. Today, six in 10 travelers are women - up from five in 10 in 2007. In addition, 30 per cent of female travelers today are booking their trips as solo travelers, traveling either alone or with women friends, despite their marital status. To encourage these "solo" travelers, OAT and GCT now offer free or low cost single supplements, a free new matching roommate program, a 30-day risk free guarantee at booking, and more.

"With an increase in the number of women solo travelers, our overseas offices have been working hard to negotiate free or lower cost supplements for single travelers on our land vacations, while allocating more space and availability on our rivers and small ocean ships," said Cook. "In addition, we recently launched a free roommate matching program, a 30-day risk free guarantee, and a new section on OAT's web site just for women. We believe that the trend of women traveling solo, meaning alone or with a friend but without a spouse, is on the rise," said Cook, "and we intend to become the leader in 'solo friendly' travel by offering unbeatable value along with an inclusive, welcoming environment on every one of our departures."

Beginning in 2009, OAT and GCT have taken the following actions to provide stronger value and accessibility to solo travelers:

1. Single Friendly Travel--Free or Low Cost Supplements

OAT and GCT now offer free or low-cost single supplements on all 2009 land vacations and on select river cruises and small ship adventures. Solo travelers can save $125-$1995 in free single supplements, depending upon the trip and departure date they choose. Additionally, both companies have reduced single fees on many of its river cruises and small ship adventures.

2. Free Matching Roommate Service

OAT and GCT have always tried to match single travelers with roommates upon request. Now, and new for 2009, if OAT or GCT fails to find an appropriate match, the solo traveler's single supplement fee is waived. In addition, OAT and GCT will launch a free, new "Travel Companions" service on-line next month that will enable solo travelers to find like-minded travel companions and/or roommates.

3. Risk-Free Guarantee

OAT and GCT's 30-day risk free guarantee allows a traveler to cancel a trip within 30 days of reservation for a full refund (please call for details). "This has been especially helpful to our single travelers," said Cook. "Many of them make reservations that are contingent upon a friend joining them. The 30-day grace period lets them book the best deals as they arise, while giving them time to arrange for a travel companion." In addition, travelers who participate in the companies' Good Buy Plan can save up to 10% off the cost of the trip.

4. Online Information for Women Travelers

OAT recently added a women's travel section to its web site ( called "Harriet's Corner," named after Harriet Lewis, avid traveler and co-chair of Grand Circle Corporation. The site contains personal stories, information for women travelers, photos and anecdotes. GCT will establish a similar section within the next few months.

For a free catalog or for more information, please call 1-800-873-5628 or visit our web sites at or

About Grand Circle Corporation

Grand Circle Corporation is the leader in international travel, adventure, and discovery for Americans age 50 and older. Through its brands Grand Circle Travel (est. 1958), Overseas Adventure Travel (est. 1978) and Grand Circle Small Ship Cruises(R) (est. 1998), Grand Circle offers a wide range of small-group adventures by land and by small ship, river cruises, escorted tours and ocean cruises worldwide. Grand Circle is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with offices throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Its nonprofit Grand Circle Foundation has donated more than $32M to youth, educational, and cultural organizations worldwide since its inception in 1992.

SOURCE Overseas Adventure Travel