In this article, we shall be looking at the 25 best countries for solo female travelers. To skip our detailed analysis of the global tourism sector in 2023, go directly and see 10 Best Countries for Solo Female Travelers.
As recession fears materialize in 2023, Bloomberg notes that international tourists have boosted spending in popular tourist localities across the globe in 2022 and were one of the key contributors in driving economic recovery. According to the report, 2022 saw more than 900 million international tourists, almost 70% of pre-pandemic levels. However, as costs surge amid increasing global economic uncertainty, the United National World Tourism Organization notes that the demand for domestic and regional travelling is projected to remain reasonably strong and is expected to drive the sector’s overall recovery from the pandemic.
Travel Trends Affecting The Industry in 2023: An Overview
According to a report by Bloomberg, the plummeting macroeconomic projections are expected to influence travel patterns in 2023. Although the Middle East and Europe are recovering considerably fast and are projected to meet pre-pandemic visitor volumes in 2023, a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization expects financial constraints to cause tourists seeking more value for money and travelling only close to home this year. Furthermore, according to a report on consumer travel attitudes by the European Travel Commission, price, proximity, and value for money seem to be the overriding decision factors when it comes to international tourism in 2023. Even in the United States, a recent sentiment survey by Longwoods International demonstrated that 56% of respondents cited airfare as a major deciding factor. More than 30% of respondents have claimed that economic concerns will influence and determine their travel decisions, a 7% increase in such sentiment since August 2022. Countries which can adapt their tourism sectors to meet these new trends are expected to see a faster growth pace in 2023.
In a conversation with McKinsey’s Nina Wittkamp, here is what Axel Hefer, CEO and Managing Director of Trivago, had to say about the short and long term outlook on global tourism in 2022/23:
“I’m less optimistic about long-haul, intercontinental travel, even in the long term. The opening up of the transatlantic routes can lead to significant demand for international tourism, but travel across geographies is more complicated because of the need to implement safety measures that are in sync between the departing country and the country of destination. For instance, if one region is investing heavily in hygiene and safety measures but there is still a quarantine restriction on a return from another region, that becomes prohibitive.”
Globally, tourism is expected to continue on its strong-recovery path, both domestically and internationally. International travel is expected to surge by almost 40% in 2023, as compared to an 80% growth rate in 2022. However, a report by Euromonitor claims that the decline in growth pace doesn’t necessarily signify a decline a trips but simply a difference in growth, owing to inflationary pressures. In this article, we shall take a look at the 25 Best Countries for Solo Female Travelers.
Photo by Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash
For this article, we looked at the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Index of 2021, which ranks countries based on a variety of factors that facilitate the sustainability and resilient development of the Travel and Tourism sector within that respective locality. In order to ascertain the best tourist destinations, we only shortlisted countries which ranked in the upper two quintiles of the report. We then cross-referenced the resultant list with Georgetown Institute’s Women Peace and Security Index for 2021/22 and averaged out the rankings to derive an average score for each country. For example, since France ranks 4th in the Travel and Tourism Index and at 15th in the GIWPS index, its average score for the purpose of this article is 9.5. After replicating the process for every country, we chose the top 25 countries based on their average score and ranked them from lowest to highest.
25 Best Countries for Solo Female Travelers
WEF TTI Ranking: 29 GIWPS Ranking: 20 Average Score: 24.5
Although relatively unknown, tourism in the Baltic nation of Estonia is an integral component of the country’s economy, and makes up for nearly 7.8% of its GDP. Considered one of the safest countries to visit in the world according to a report by OECD, the number of tourist arrivals in Estonia, both domestic and international have been exponentially increasing since 2006.
Popular destinations in Estonia include Tartu, Parnu, Saaremaa, and the national capital of Tallinn. Old Town in Tallinn is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2020, the Government of Estonia kicked off the Tourism Program 2021-24 to further incentivise growth in the tourism sector by investing more than 140 million euros in the travel industry.
24. United Arab Emirates
WEF TTI Ranking: 25 GIWPS Ranking: 24 Average Score: 24.5
A tourist behemoth of the Middle East, the UAE’s travel industry employs more than 605,000 people and is projected to account for nearly 12.4% of the oil-rich country’s total GDP by 2027. From the futuristic metropolitan of Dubai to the scenic landscapes of Ras Al Khaimah, the United Arab Emirates attracts a diverse variety of tourists every year. The Government of the UAE have revealed plans to further ‘Emiratize’ the industry which will help the country overcome macroeconomic challenges in 2023.
23. Republic of Korea
WEF TTI Ranking: 15 GIWPS Ranking: 33 Average Score: 24
Since the liberalization policies of international travel in the 1980s, the Republic of Korea has slowly been emerging as a hub of tourist attention in Asia. One of the most visited countries in the world, the majority of Korea’s tourism industry is supported by domestic tourism. Seoul is the primary tourist destination, with other major attractions including Busan, the Seorak-san national park, the historic city of Gyeongju and the subtropical Jeju Island. The recent popularity of Korean popular culture, also known as the ‘Korean Wave’, has boosted the growth of the industry in the country.
WEF TTI Ranking: 22 GIWPS Ranking: 22 Average Score: 22
Belgium is considered one of the go-to destinations in Europe, attracting a record 3.4 million tourists in 2022. The tourism industry constituted more than 20 billion euros to the country’s overall GDP in 2022. Whether it be the country’s world famous chocolates and diamonds, or a UNESCO World Heritage site in Bruges, Belgium remains a top choice for travelers across the world.
WEF TTI Ranking: 24 GIWPS Ranking: 19 Average Score: 21.5
Ireland is home to a diverse plethora of archeological and cultural heritage, attracting millions of tourists every year. Famous sites to visit are the Rock of Cashel, Killarney National Park, and the Cliffs of Moher.
20. New Zealand
WEF TTI Ranking: 27 GIWPS Ranking: 13 Average Score: 20
Tourism is an integral component of New Zealand’s economy, constituting more than 6% of the country’s GDP as of 2022. Although it is one of the most expensive localities in the world, New Zealand also has with one of the lowest crime rates and is considered exceptionally safe and secure for solo women travelers.
WEF TTI Ranking: 10 GIWPS Ranking: 28 Average Score: 19
With more than 56 million tourist arrivals in 2022, Italy is the fifth most visited destination in the world. Considered the hub of modern European culture and tradition, Italy houses the great relics of ancient European glory. From the Colosseum and the Forum to churches and chapels of the Vatican, Italy appeases the young and the old alike.
WEF TTI Ranking: 1 GIWPS Ranking: 35 Average Score: 18
From scenic landscapes and cultural sites to modern theme parks and tourist retreats, Japan offers a plethora of activities for tourists. Tourism is a massive industry in Japan, with the country attracting more than 3.8 million visitors in 2022. The country is fast emerging as one of the central hubs of Asian culture.
WEF TTI Ranking: 16 GIWPS Ranking: 18 Average Score: 17
Portugal is a relatively small country, making it easier and cost-effective to travel and explore. From the cosmopolitan city of Lisbon to traditional villages, tourists tend to have a diverse range of travel options. The tourism sector accounted for a massive 17% of the country’s GDP (including indirect effects) pre-pandemic, making Portugal one of five southern European nations most dependant on the sector.
WEF TTI Ranking: 7 GIWPS Ranking: 24 Average Score: 15.5
Whether one is looking to relax on the country’s sparkling beaches, spend time with friendly wildlife, or catch a show at the Sydney Opera House, Australia is a go-to destination for tourists across the globe. The tourism sector employs more than five percent of the country’s workforce and makes up for more than 8.2% of Australia’s export earnings.
WEF TTI Ranking: 20 GIWPS Ranking: 7 Average Score: 13.5
Although tourism is a relatively small part of the Swedish economy, the industry has been picking up favor amongst tourists of late. The country is known for its beautiful palaces, ancient towns, anow-capped landscapes and the famous Ice Hotel.
WEF TTI Ranking: 23 GIWPS Ranking: 3 Average Score: 13
Tourism in Iceland has grown considerably in economic significance in the past decade, becoming one of the central pillars of the Icelandic economy. The industry contributes more than 39% to the total export revenue of the country, and although numbers haven’t quite returned to pre-pandemic levels, tourism in Iceland is recording one of the fastest growth rates in Northern Europe.
WEF TTI Ranking: 21 GIWPS Ranking: 5 Average Score: 13
Considered one of the best destinations in Europe for a city break, Luxembourg is widely known for the Old Quarter of Luxembourg City, the National Museum of History and Art, the Bock Casements and much more.
WEF TTI Ranking: 13 GIWPS Ranking: 12 Average Score: 12.5
Known for its expansive and beautiful national parks, scenic landscapes and vibrant cosmopolitan life, the tourism sector in Canada is uniquely inclusive and contributes 10% of all full-year jobs. The sector makes up for an estimated $102.5 billion to the Canadian economy.
WEF TTI Ranking: 14 GIWPS Ranking: 10 Average Score: 12
Although the tourism sector is a relatively small sector of the country’s economy, contributing a meagre 5.4% of Netherlands’ GDP, the Netherlands is the go-to destination for tourists wanting to learn more about ancient Viking culture, visit the Van Gogh Museum, explore the canals and cosmopolitan life of Amsterdam and much more.
Click here to continue reading and see 10 Best Countries for Solo Female Travelers.
Disclosure: none. 25 Best Countries to Visit for Solo Female Travelers is originally published on Insider Monkey.