Are solo travellers lonely people who are deprived of a suitable company and forced to go alone? No, says a study, adding that they are actually the most fun-loving people who want to enjoy it alone.
Solo travellers do not go alone because they have to. They do it because they want to, the team from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) said.
According to lead researcher Constanza Bianchi, there were a growing number of people who preferred to travel alone, despite having family and friends.
"Research shows solo travel is the fastest-growing tourism segment and figures support this with solo traveller numbers increasing by almost 20 percent between 2007 and 2011," Bianchi said.
The solo travellers were choosing freedom, uncompromised fun and meeting new people over the desire to have a companion to share their experiences.
Although most participants had family and friends, they chose to travel alone because they enjoyed it.
Other motivations of travelling solo were feeling free, the possibility of meeting new people and the opportunity for self-discovery, the study found.
A participant said: "You discover a lot about yourself and you learn to be at peace with your inner monologue due to time spent alone and the challenges you must overcome alone."
The study was published in the international journal of Tourism Research.