41% women claim to travel alone on vacation. 76% of them enjoy it.
Safety emerges as grave concern for women when travelling alone for work or leisure.
According to the Solo women traveller survey 2013 conducted by TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site, 84% women claimed to have travelled alone for leisure, business or both. The survey undertaken among 500 female respondents is a mix of working women including a number of self employed, as well as homemakers. The survey also brings to light the disturbing fact that 94% of the female respondents worry about their safety, always or at least sometimes, when they travel alone within India.
According to Nikhil Ganju (Country Manager, TripAdvisor India), “The rise in women travelling alone on business is an understandable fallout of the increase in the number of working women. The real surprise is the significant number of Indian women who are choosing to travel solo on vacation. ”
“Another interesting insight that highlights a latent opportunity for the hospitality sector is that 78% respondents said they would prefer to stay in an all women’s hotel or on a women exclusive floor in a hotel, when travelling alone.” he added
Loving solo: Adventurous Indian women don’t need a Chaperone
It’s a break from tradition as Indian women seek adventure and experience and are confident, enthused and eager to travel on their own terms.
Among women that travel alone, 41% respondents said they actually enjoyed travelling alone for work. To add to that, a whopping 76% said they enjoy going solo on holiday.
And lack of company is definitely not a complaint. In fact , majority of the respondents in the survey (58%) said their biggest incentive for solo vacations was that they could do all the things they want without having to worry about what someone else wants. 34% women indicated they loved travelling alone as it was adventurous and exciting. Another 32% claimed the thrill of managing everything by themselves was a motivator as well.
Safety on Her Mind
Marring these promising signs of Indian women charting their own path, is the bleak reality of concern for their own safety.
- About 94% female respondents say they worry either always or sometimes when they travel alone within India.
- Among women who said they travel alone on work, 37% women agreed that they don’t mind travelling alone but worry about their safety.
- Even more dismal is the fact that more women travellers have a better sense of safety overseas than in India. 24% respondents said they worry when they travel within India but not when they travel to international destinations, while only 6% said they worry when they travel abroad alone but not within India.
Despite the fear and worry, only 33% women said they carry any item for self defence (like a Taser, or pepper spray) when travelling to a new or unfamiliar city.
A Capital Case
We quizzed our women respondents on which out of India’s 8 major cities* they considered safest and least safe for women travelling alone:
- Due to the recent spate of crime against women, the national capital Delhi has gained notoriety with 84% women claiming it to be the most unsafe metro and major city in the country.
- Mumbai came out on top as the city considered safest by a majority of 34% respondents. Ahmedabad and Bangalore were tied at a distant second with 12% votes each.
We also asked our survey respondents to vote for the Indian state/union territory they considered safest and most unsafe for solo women travellers:
- Delhi NCR takes a clear lead here as well with 60% respondents voting it as the most unsafe. At a distant second is Bihar (18%) followed by Uttar Pradesh (8%).
- A majority of 27% respondents said they considered Maharashtra to be the safest state followed by Gujarat (15%) and Karnataka (10%).
Women’s Vote of Confidence
TripAdvisor shares a list of 15 top rated Indian hotels based ONLY on reviews and ratings from its female travellers from all over the world.
- Shreyas Yoga Retreat,Bangalore
- Chandra Niwas, Udaipur
- Swades Guest House, Pondicherry
- Delhi Bed and Breakfast, New Delhi
- Shanti Home, New Delhi
- Eleven, New Delhi
- Chamundi Hill Palace Ayurvedic Resort, Kerala
- Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi
- The Imperial, New Delhi
- Mother Tree B&B, Kerala
- Hotel Shahi Palace, Rajasthan
- Sajhome, Kerala
- Athreya Ayurvedic Resort, Kerala
- Jaiwana Haveli, Rajasthan
- The Taj Mahal Palace, Maharashtra