Malaysians are embracing the solo travel culture. Travel booking platform Agoda recently revealed a 50% increase of one-person bookings in Malaysia since 2016.
Agoda global director (brand and communications) Andrew Edwards said accessibility is a factor.
“As the far-flung corners of the world are becoming easier to reach, travellers are more willing to experience destinations with the freedom that comes from travelling alone,” he said.
The increasing number of solo travellers in Malaysia reflects the shift occurring in the travel industry. Google Trends reported solid growth in interest in solo travel over the past 10 years, with July last year seeing the most searches for “solo travel” ever on the search engine.
A recent survey by Lonely Planet also validated this trend, with 80% of respondents planning to travel solo in the future.
Closer to home, Agoda reported that the growth of solo travel in Malaysia is trending towards domestic travel. Domestic solo bookings grew at more than twice the rate (62%) compared to international solo bookings (27%).
Kuching, in particular, was identified as a popular destination for solo travel, growing by 53% among Malaysian solo travellers.
On the international front, Taiwan was identified as the top growing overseas destination for Malaysian solo travellers, with 41% growth last year.
Other popular international destinations for solo travellers from Malaysia include Japan (30% growth), Thailand (37%) and Indonesia (38%).
The Agoda one-person booking data was collated between January 2016 and December 2017.
Meanwhile, the St Giles hotel group recently launched a dedicated solo-travel programme in February to help solo travellers – particularly women – experience the best of the destination.
The initiative included a solo concierge service as well as a website featuring solo-friendly restaurants, bars, entertainment and touring activities. The guide features highlights in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, London, Manila, New York and Sydney.