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Some tour operators ditch single travel supplements

summer vacation

According to a recent report by Travel Weekly, a single person looking to join a group tour is often deterred by a costly single supplement. In response, some tour operators, such as Abercrombie and Kent, have discovered that cutting out single supplements can be worthwhile in increased bookings. The tour operator began negotiating with suppliers to either eliminate or significantly reduce single supplements earlier this year.


“We surveyed past solo travelers and learned that they consider a high single supplement a penalty,” said Bob Simpson, vice president of product planning and business development for Abercrombie and Kent in a statement. “We shared the results of the research with our travel suppliers and worked in partnership with them to reduce or eliminate the single supplement whenever we could.


“The response to Abercrombie and Kent’s solo savings has been very strong, and the added business far outweighs any pricing considerations.”


The operator applied these savings on 34 departures of 21 itineraries earlier this year. In July, the company also added five more itineraries in single savings programs, including Wings Over Botswana, Under South African Skies, and Amazon and Colca Canyon. In response, the company’s single bookings have increased 15 percent more than the same period last year.


Goway, an Ontario, Canada-based tour operator, has also noticed the advantages of removing a single supplement. The operator’s AfricaExperts division worked with its South African lodges to either waive or reduce the extra charge on six African itineraries.


“We think this is a trend that’s going to continue,” said Moira Smith, general manager for AfricaExperts. “A real frustration for the solo traveler is that they are often hit with hefty surcharges, so in this instance, waiving the single supplement represents significant value to them.


For more information, read the Travel Weekly article.