Jueves 20 de Septiembre de 2007, Ip nš 208

Which? reveals price paid by solo travellers
Por Rebecca Smithers

The holiday industry is still penalising solo travellers by charging them excessively high single-person supplements, a consumer group warns today.

Holiday Which? says single travellers are often forced to pay more than 50% of the price paid for two people on the same holiday, while they are given fewer options in the choice of their accommodation.

In an analysis of the options for those who would like to travel solo, Holiday Which? points out that more than a third of Britons are single, divorced, widowed or separated. But a recent survey by research group Mintel revealed that solo travellers account for just 6% of all travellers.

Holiday Which? believes many potential solo travellers are deterred by punitive costs. The magazine says: "While other service industries ... have made strides to cater for singles ... the holiday industry continues to penalise solo travellers."

It says hotels justify the single supplement by claiming that if there is only one person staying in a room they lose out, as it costs the same to heat, light and clean the room, regardless of how many people stay. A further reason given is that single people spend less money in the bar and restaurant.

When the magazine looked at two hotels in Spain to see how much a single traveller would pay for a room compared with two people sharing, it found that in both cases the single room cost more than half that for two people.

Separately, the magazine also accuses airlines, airports and tour operators of showing a lack of awareness about the needs of people with disabilities.

  07/09/2007. The Guardian.