February 22, 2023
You’ve packed your bags, passport in hand, currency changed and international SIM chip installed in your smartphone. And instead of hitting the road with a friend or partner, more and more travelers are heading out alone. Solo travel is a trend that started to take root prior to the pandemic but has exploded since.
It’s too soon to say exactly why traveling alone has taken off, but the hospitality industry is taking note. According to booking.com, prior to the pandemic, only 14% of travelers were planning a trip on their own while nearly double that percentage report they are planning a solo trip in the future.
Kayak searches for single-traveler flights are 36% higher for 2023 travel than for 2022 travel.
While we don’t know why solo travel is expanding now, we do know why people choose to travel on their own. According to solotravelerworld.com, reasons include (by ranking): They want to see the world, but don’t want to wait for others; they want to do what they want, when they want; they like the feeling of freedom and independence; they want to meet new people; they want to grow personally; they have different interests than their friends; and their spouse or partner doesn’t want to travel as much as them.
So as a retail shareholder, how can you tap into this growing market? Since there is no publicly traded company specializing in solo travel, individual investors can look at companies that serve the travel industry in general.
One company retail shareholders might examine is Mondee (Tii:MOND), who says its technology is built for the next generation of travel. Mondee is modernizing travel through technology-led growth strategies and a scalable travel marketplace. Its platforms and products connect global travel suppliers with a network of leisure agencies, gig economy travel workers, corporations and closed user groups.
If you are interested in investing in a package of travel portals, take a look at Booking Holdings (Tii:BKNG), one of the largest travel portals with booking.com, priceline.com, kayak.com and others.
For a more traditional travel investment, retail shareholders might want to study Marriott International (Tii:MAR), one of the world’s largest hotel companies with 8,000 properties in nearly 140 countries. It is a holding company for 30 brands that include Marriott, Sheraton, Weston, The Ritz-Carlton and others.
Many solo travelers seeking an alternative to hotel vacations pick Airbnb (Tii:ABNB) as an alternative. Airbnb lets homeowners and property managers list homes, condos and other places to stay online. The draw for solo travelers is the unique destinations available to them through the platform.
Individual investors can also pick from a couple exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that hold assets from a variety of travel-related companies. They include the ETFMG Travel Tech ETF (Tii:AWAY) that focuses on travel technology. The fund holds assets in book companies, ride-share platforms, price comparison sites and travel advice. Another ETF connected with the travel industry is the U.S. Global Jets ETF (Tii:JETS), a travel fund heavily invested in U.S. airline stocks and a handful of international carriers.
Individual shareholders can also invest in travel companies that give them something in return on TiiCKER. In fact, TiiCKER is about to launch a major new brand partner in the travel world very soon. Stay tuned.
Of course, retail shareholders who sign up for a free account on TiiCKER and link a brokerage account will find a number of travel-related perks already. This includes all of the major cruise lines like Norwegian Cruise Line (Tii:NCLH), which gives its retail investors onboard credits for owning just 100 shares with a three week holding period. The credits are larger based on the number of days booked on the cruise. The deal is exactly the same for Carnival (Tii:CCL). Royal Caribbean (Tii:RCL) offers on-board credits for 100 shares, but the holding period is five weeks.
Japan Airlines (Tii:JAPSY) offers 50% off flights for holding as few as 100 shares. And Irish Continental Group (Tii:IRCUF) a 10% discount on passenger and car ferry services between Ireland & France for shareholders of 1,000 or more shares.
Regardless of how you get there or where you stay, solo travel is on the rise. According to research from MMGY, one in four travelers plans to travel solo in the next six months with Gen-Z and Millennials leading the way.
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