The rise of solo traveller

It can be an uncompromised bunjee jump from 500 feet or it can be a very selfish plunge into the pool for the entire day, sometimes the liberty to enjoy the amazing snowfall just for the love for one’s own self. As surviving on basic food requirement like burgers and sandwiches or even experimenting on local flavours for a fortnight is even for adventurous than having a gala meal. As travelling without an interrupting companion is setting up its trend, ‘Solo Travellers’ are now celebrating their travel route with full liberty.

Solo travelling is what has hit a large number of travellers in the Sultanate. “The idea of exploring the world alone may be threatening to some, but that is what is really happening and travelling solo is about to become increasingly popular,” admitted Mohammed Shafiqul Islam Bhuiyan, the general manager of New Star International Travel and Tour.

According to statistics, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore remain at the top spot for the locals. Thailand is looking to receiving 80,000 to 90,000 tourists from Oman in 2015. “Off late Sri Lanka and China is becoming popular among the Asian countries. And when it comes to Europe, London and Paris is a favourite place. Of this a large number is a solo traveller”, says an executive of Canary Travel.
In 2014, more than 30000 tourists from Oman visited the Malaysia — The Essence of Asia.

According to an analysis of 100,000 holiday bookings by travel inspiration website 101 Holidays, holiday companies that run group tours in the UK and abroad are reporting that 35 per cent of their clients are single travellers. That figure is expected to increase to 38 per cent based on advance bookings in 2015.

“In Oman also the number will be more a less the same as to meet the demand for solo holidays, holiday companies are now offering incentives to attract single travellers, including dedicated solo travel holidays and the scrapping of the single supplement, a premium charged to people who take a room alone,” Bhuiyan added.

Even single travellers are encouraged and there are group tables where singles can join other singles for lunch and dinner.

Recently, Vacations, the Outbound Holidays division of Travel Point has launched some unique vacations as people are travelling alone. “We have launched Pink Vacations — for Ladies only, especially the shopaholics and Moustache Vacations – Men only as many people prefer to move alone,” said an executive of Travel Point.

Travel agents said when we say travelling alone, we don’t mean you have to be alone for the entire length of your trip. “Other travellers will find it easier to approach you when you are travelling solo or sitting alone. And you’ll find it easier to mingle with a group. At some point in your trip, you are very likely to meet another cool traveller and the two of you may decide to travel for some days together. Just go with the flow and you will find the world friendlier than you had imagined,” they said.

Sahidul Islam, who had gone for a vacation alone, said that it’s so much easier to stick to your budget when you are travelling solo. “Solo hitchhikers are more likely to be picked up than a group. It’s also easier to get a couch-surfing host while travelling alone for the simple reason that one couch is easier to find than two! Likewise, when searching for a bunk to sleep on in hostels during peak season, the chances of a single bed being available is more,” he said.

Then there are no one watching your back when you are travelling solo. “You’ve got to be on guard at all times and trust your instincts about how to deal with various situations. While making the most of your trip, you also have to take care of your health because no one wants to fall sick in a foreign country when you don’t have a friend around to help you. All this teaches you to be responsible,” said a student of Abdul Rahim, who had gone to UK last summer alone.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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