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Solo travellers to city destinations: an exploratory study in Sweden

Saeid Abbasian (School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden)

International Journal of Tourism Cities

ISSN: 2056-5607

Article publication date: 30 October 2018

Issue publication date: 12 March 2019




The purpose of this paper is to gain more insight into the phenomenon of solo travel to city destinations and attain more knowledge on the topic.


The study employed a questionnaire consisting of qualitative and quantitative items. In all, 21 individuals (12 women, 9 men) responded.


The most important reason for solo travel was their own free choice and in some cases, difficulty finding companions. Their activities at the destinations were mostly visiting attractions followed by visiting friends, shopping, walking, eating at restaurants, learning the language, working, etc. They mostly mentioned advantages but also some disadvantages with solo travelling. Their experiences, especially with the people in the host destinations, have been positive and they show overall satisfaction with their visit. A predominant share of the interviewees showed a kind of loyalty to one or more specific city destinations and wished to revisit them again and again.

Practical implications

The current study might have some implications for city tourism developers/destination developers, travel agencies, national or regional tourism boards and tour operators in major urban areas and cities. Especially, this study has a practical contribution to the city tourism practitioners and gives them more insight in what values, attitudes, perceptions, expectations and motivations the solo travellers might have before or while they visit their cities. The study also has implications for potential solo travellers seeking more knowledge and information on the issue.


The phenomenon of solo travel to city destinations is an unresearched topic in Sweden. This exploratory study is the first in Sweden to focus on solo travellers visiting city destinations.



The author would like to thank Dr Christian Widholm (Senior Lecturer) and Oscar Melander (Graduate Student) for their technical assistance.


Abbasian, S. (2019), "Solo travellers to city destinations: an exploratory study in Sweden", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 35-50.



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Copyright © 2018, International Tourism Studies Association

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