Looking for travel statistics by gender?
Tourism is a major industry that contributes to the world GDP and employs millions of people. By 2016, tourism contributed an average of $7.6 trillion to the world GDP, and that number has only increased since then.
More so, the sector provided 292 million jobs worldwide, making it one of the biggest job-providing industries.
Because of tourism’s prevalence, as well as travel in general, many statistics have been conducted to understand who exactly is attracted to tourism and travels.
One of the most important questions relates to gender and travel. Surprisingly, most studies today show that women travel the most, even though men are traditionally assumed to travel more.
To compare female to male travelers in the US, 63% are female, whereas only 37% are male. This is actually on trend with worldwide statistics, where 64% of global travelers are female and 36% are male.
In this article, we are going to take a close look at all gender travel statistics. This includes solo travel trends and coupled travel trends by gender.
We are also going to look at women’s travel trends specifically since women dominate the travel and tourism market. Read on to find out more.
Table of Contents
Travel Statistics By Gender
|Female Travelers in the US||63%|
|Male Travelers in the US||37%|
|Female Travelers Worldwide||64%|
|Male Travelers Worldwide||36%|
Before we get into individual travel trends by gender, it is important to note that women actually make up the majority of travelers.
👉 According to the Census Bureau, the average traveler is actually not a male. Instead, the average traveler is a 47-year-old female who wears a size 12.
👉 More so, there is an estimated 32 million single American females who have traveled once this last year.
👉 The Travel Industry Association even estimates that 3 in 10 single females have traveled five or more times over the past year, making single females a huge player in the traveling industry.
One of the leading travel market trends leading to the biggest money growth is the girlfriend getaway market. The girlfriend getaway represents the type of travel where two or more girlfriends travel together as a sort of bachelorette fun. It is worth almost $200 million a year.
👉 In the last three years, about 24% of American women have taken some sort of girlfriend getaway. In comparison, 39% plan to take one in the next three years.
The shocking number shows the increased prevalence of girlfriend getaways.
Solo Travel Trends
- 47% of registered Overseas Adventure Travel travelers identify as “Solos.”
- 73% of travel agents agree more women travel solo than men.
👉 Solo travel trends have been increasingly studied because it is a relatively newer phenomenon. 59% of travel agents have seen an increase in the number of solo travelers over the last 10 years alone.
Most agents report that solar travelers travel to see specific locations or pursue specific interests.
👉 For travelers registered with the Overseas Adventure Travel, 47% of them are registered as solo travelers. Even though solo traveling is more dangerous for women, 73% of agents agree that there are way more solo female travelers than males.
This may be because fewer males consult a traveling agent, but it is interesting to think that more women are traveling alone.
👉 In 2019 specifically, the term “solo women travel” increased by 230%. Similarly, Pinterest saw an increase in this phrase by 350% over the same year.
👉 Women seem to travel solo in order to value their independence and sophistication. Only about 4% of travel agents claim female travelers travel solo in order to reconnect with themselves.
Coupled Travel Trends
- Women make 80% of travel decisions.
In terms of household types that travel, heterosexual couples travel the most, especially for long-term travels.
👉 In this household, 80% of travel decisions are made by women. This decision control is regardless of factors like who they travel with, where they go, or who pays for the trip. This shows women as being the leading decision-maker.
|Women who travel to visit friends and family||64%|
|Men who travel to visit friends and family||57%|
|Women who travel with family members||74%|
|Men who travel with family members||68%|
👉 Even though women are most likely to make travel decisions, 64% of women travel in order to visit their friends and family.
👉 In comparison, 57% of men travel for the same reason. This also includes traveling with family and friends.
👉 74% of women travel with family members whereas only 68% of men travel with them.
👉 Additionally, men actually spend more time researching their vacation than women. According to a SpringHill Suites study, men research on average 5.2 hours. On the other hand, women only researched for about 4.6 hours.
👉 Once the vacation is planned, however, women prepare much more than men. Only about 14% of women do nothing in preparation for vacation, whereas 31% of men do nothing.
This seems to suggest that men do a little bit more preemptive planning, whereas women like to prepare once the plans are more definite.
Something that is really interesting to consider in terms of travel is the number of vacation days. Even though women overwhelmingly travel more than men, men get more vacation days on average.
👉 About 44% of men get three weeks or more for vacation. Only about 30% of women get this same amount.
Despite this disparity in the number of vacation days, women tend to take a vacation every 10 months, while men take a vacation every 12 months.
Women’s Travel Trends
- 91% of female travelers book trips with their friends
- 27% of travel agents claim that sightseeing and shopping are popular activities for women
- 15% of women are likely to spend over $263 a day on their travels
- 73% of women save before trips
- 45% of women like shopping for locally-made goods
- 68% of female group travelers and 81% of female solo travelers are over 45 years old
Because more women are traveling than ever, many studies have looked at women’s travel trends specifically.
👉 Even though there are more female solo travelers than men, most women still travel in groups. In fact, 91% of female travelers book trips with their friends.
As we mentioned above, some women do travel on their own. When they do travel on their own, most women do it out of a sense of independence and the ability to travel alone. Very few women travel in order to reconnect with themselves.
👉 No matter what kind of traveling women are doing, shopping is an important aspect of female traveling trends. 27% of travel agents claim that sightseeing and shopping are popular activities for women.
👉 According to the International Currency Exchange, 15% of women are likely to spend over $263 a day on their travels.
👉 Only about 5% of men are likely to spend the same amount. Similarly, men tend to save a bit more before the vacation than women. To be more exact, 81% of men save before a trip, in comparison to 72% of women.
While traveling, women tend to spend much more on clothing and duty-free objects.
👉 In comparison, men spend the most on food and drinks. Women specifically like shopping for locally made goods. 45% of women like looking for these sort of products, in comparison to only 36% of men.
👉 Something else that is really unique to women travelers is that the vast majority of them are actually over the age of 45. For group travel, 68% of them are over 45, whereas a whopping 81% of solo travelers are over 45 years old.
What Do These Stats Teach Us?
These stats teach us that women are generally traveling more than men. This does not mean that men do not travel. On the contrary, men still travel quite a bit, just not as much as women.
The fact that women are traveling more than men is completely new to this generation. Historically, men have dominated the traveling scene.
It seems that more women are taking advantage of their freedom and independence in order to travel, whereas women of the past did not have this opportunity.
What gender travels the most?
As we learned above, women travel the most by quite a bit. Whether you look at solo travels or group travels, women are dominating the industry in terms of the number of travels.
Especially women of Generation Y and Baby Boomers are traveling the most.
It is generally unclear as to why the vast majority of travelers are women today. It could be that women have more opportunities for independence and freedom than ever before, causing many women to take advantage of this fact.
Even though the vast majority of travelers are women, men still travel quite a bit too. In comparison to women, they are less likely to spend as much money on their travels or travel with family members.
Instead, most men are more likely to travel alone or with friends, though women still travel more in all of these respects.
Which demographic travels the most?
The demographic that travels the most are women over the age of 45. This is true for both solo and group travel. Many solo travelers of this demographic travel in order to see unique destinations or relate to a special interest.
👉 At the same time, females over the age of 45 travel in groups to share experiences with one another. In other words, they take girl get-away trips with other women over the age of 45.
👉 The demographic that travels the least is individuals between 18 and 24. In terms of both group and solo travels, only 1% of this age bracket travels.
Gender does not much affect this, probably because individuals within this age group do not have the financial stability to travel frequently.
Why Do Millennials Travel?
Even though female Generation Y and Baby Boomers make up the most of travelers, the Millennial age group travels the most.
Millennials travel for especially different reasons than their older and younger counterparts. Most commonly, Millennials seek traveling experiences.
More specifically, Millennials seek out an experience they can remember for years to come. Many Millennials search for authentic traveling locations, not touristy hubs, as a result. Most often, Millennials want to experience a completely new culture.
In comparison, Generation Z travels for vacation or relaxation purposes. Generation Y and Baby Boomers like to travel to visit friends and family.
Visiting friends and family members is a huge traveling motivation for all age demographic other than Millennials.
How Often Do Millennials Travel?
As we already mentioned, Millennials are the number one age group to travel. On average, Millennials will take 5.6 trips annually.
To put that in perspective, Generation Z will take 4.4 trips per year, Generation X will take 4.0 trips per year, and Baby Boomers will take 3.5 trips per year.
Because Millennials travel the most often, they are actually more likely to go into debt for travel. Similarly, more Millennials are willing to save for vacations and trips instead of homes and other more traditionally “responsible” ventures.
It is really interesting that women are traveling more than men. Many people would assume the opposite since women are traditionally viewed as caretakers of the home. This is especially true in solo travel where women are at more risk of experiencing violence.
Despite all these misconceptions, women travel more than men, in terms of both group and solo travel.
Women over the age of 45 are especially prone to travel more than men, whether it be alone or with other girl groups.
Even when women travel with men, women still make most of the deciding factors, even though men research their trips much more.
Whether women are traveling with men, other women, or alone, women also still dominate the value of the tourist industry.
It will be interesting to see if COVID-19 changes these statistics. After all, it is still too soon for experts to understand exactly how this pandemic has affected all tourist trends, including trends relating to gender.
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