Women's Day 2020: Wow, women in India are embracing solo travel and international travel like never before! Women for long used to place their leisure and priorities on the backseat, while tending to the needs and wants of her family. Most of their time was spent tending to others. They often forgot to take breaks for themselves. Even their vacations were family-centric and their role as the homemaker did not leave them even while on vacation.
However, with newer trends emerging, women have started giving more attention to their own needs, finding their own leisure activities, often choosing to take solo travel trips for rejuvenation.
This Women's Day, Financial Express Online talked to Varesh Chopra, Regional Director of India, South Asia and Middle East at Cosmos Vacations about the trends among women travellers.
Talking about the popular destinations among women, Chopra said, "Women travelers have evolved from just being the traditional travelers to going beyond to undiscovered destinations. Having said that, they like a mix of various elements in their vacations-from cosmopolitan cities to small quaint towns, from natural splendors to architectural marvels and from tourist attractions to hidden gems around the world." He further added that the most visited international destinations in general are England, Scotland, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, Eastern USA, California and Canada, to name a few.
What leads to the upward trend among women travelers?
When asked about the possible reasons for the upward trend in women travelers, both group and solo, the Cosmos Vacations Regional Director said, "Traditionally, women have always been the planners and researchers for all kinds of travel vacations with the family or even with just the spouse. Now, with increased earnings, spending power and independence, women across all ages no longer need to ask for permission or financial support from family or friends to travel. They are growing more bold, resourceful and resilient. They love the opportunities and challenges that travel offers them."
He added, "There are also amazing opportunities for women to travel nowadays with many companies offering group tours and women-only travel packages. When traveling with international tour operators, they can opt for quality vacations and have numerous options to choose from. Women also play major roles in the Indian and the world tourism industry, and as per a report of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, women easily represent more than 50% of the travel trade workforce. This definitely contributes to the comfort level of women booking their vacations as they will most probably be assisted by women from across the counter in most travel companies."
Safety concern of women travelers
The issue of safety and security for women is a major one and while traveling, this issue multiplies. Talking about the measures taken in this regard by the tour operators, Varesh Chopra said, "Talking strictly about Cosmos Vacations, for us safety is truly in numbers. All of our tours are escorted by trained professionals who take care of all travelers and ensure that the guests' convenience is the first priority. So, women travelers are truly never alone."
How are women travelers being encouraged by tour operators?
"There are some experiences which appeal to women much more than they do to men. They look out for more immersive cultural experiences-be it dance, music, or even art and local cuisine experiences, etc., and of course shopping. These elements find their way into exclusive women-only vacations," Chopra said.
Tips for solo female travelers
As a guide to women who are planning to take solo trips some time soon, Varesh Chopra has listed out a few things they should keep in mind.
Keep your friends and family informed about your itinerary, contact details and whereabouts
Keep a map handy with you
Keep copies of all ID papers on you and in all your luggages
Avoid lonely streets and questionable neighborhoods
Spend extra money if that means it is safer
So with these trends in mind, this Women's Day, ladies, sail away for an adventure!