Although "the hotel industry is suffering right now, McInerney said, appealing to solo travelers is "not a big issue" because, as spenders, they're less desirable.
Some Four Seasons hotels offer single rates, but only in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, said spokeswoman Felicia Yukich.
Weiler of Singles Travel International says "hotels just don't understand" the potential of the single market. "The average vacation cycle for a family that travels might be every two years," she said. "I have clients who travel six or seven times a year. Singles are much more prone to travel frequently."
Experts agree that price is not the only factor solo travelers should consider. "Ask yourself if you're going to be happy as a solo voyager on a cruise ship," Spencer Brown of CruiseCritic said. A better choice, she said, might be a river cruise, a smaller ship where guests dine together and a single might feel less alone.
Another alternative, she suggested, is to "pick a ship that's social." She praised Crystal Cruises for "really going to a lot of trouble to match you with people you'd enjoy. And Holland America has great enrichment programs, which are good places to meet and make connections. If you're young and single, Carnival's great."
Built-in companionship is one of the perks of singles tours, said Sheryl Weinberger, owner of Best Single Travel (http://www.bestsingletravel.com). To save money, about 85% of her clients choose a roommate. Too risky, you think? "If you don't like your roommate," she said, "no one makes you spend the day with them."
Destination is also important. Singles travel specialists know clients can feel like outcasts at a resort that caters mostly to couples. "Singles don't like to sit on the beach and watch couples holding hands," Weinberger said.
Singles ask a lot of questions before signing up for a tour, said Ann Thomas, director of Singles Travel Co. (http://www.singlestravelcompany.com) — and that's good. "They don't want to be with someone too old or too young. And there's always the big one — how many males, how many females."
Said Weiler, who puts together upscale trips using luxury travel products, "If you're going to invest $4,000 on a vacation, I think it's pertinent to know who the other travelers might be." At her company's site, members of the online community can peruse profiles of prospective roommates.
It's time, said Thomas, for the travel industry to realize that it's not just a couples' world. "People are getting married later," Thomas said. "There are more divorces. It's become more popular to travel as a single."