Why Your Hotel Needs to be Pet Friendly
In some respects, all hotels and hospitality venues need to have facilities that are suitable for animals for those travellers who have service animals.
But there are a growing number of people who want to travel with their pets as well – according to PetsPyjamas, there has been an 80% increase in pup-friendly bookings for 2021, with owners wanting to travel with their dogs.
With the COVID lockdowns restricting movement, people and their pets are getting used to spending a lot of time together, and they don’t want to have to leave them behind once they’re able to holiday again.
Hotel brands which allow pet bookings have seen an increase in not only initial bookings but recommendations and brand loyalty; customers who know they can take their pet with them to your establishment are more likely to book with you again.
A number of the larger more famous hotel brands are fully embracing the opportunity to encourage pets, the Marriot for example has optimised the search on its site for pet-friendly hotels, and the Hilton offers ‘swag bags’ programs where customers can order extra goodies for their furry companion.
What Do You Need to Consider to Be Pet Friendly?
When deciding to allow pets, there are a number of different elements you need to consider, including hygiene, toilet facilities and of course insurance policies, but you also need to look at:
- How much should you be charging for pet stays?
- Do you charge per night or per stay?
- How many pets should you allow per customer?
- What restrictions should you implement?
- What responsibilities must owners adhere to, and how will they prove them to you?
Some people have serious allergies or issues with animals, and deciding to allow pets on a premises does come with its own challenges, but as a growing market – it’s something that should be seriously considered.
How Do You Market a Pet-Friendly Hotel?
Once you’ve decided to allow pets on-site, it’s important that you update your hotel website, social media, OTA listings, etc – and make it extremely clear to both owners and other guests that there will be animals around.
You should also clearly list any restrictions (for example, saying no to an emotional support crocodile) or expectations (such as requiring muzzles for dogs in common areas).
Adding the ‘Pet Friendly’ or ‘Allows Pets’ function to your search will also make it simpler for guests to directly access (or avoid) these premises.
Your social media strategy can benefit from focused posts and highlights of pet-friendly services and any activities you’re putting on (such as dog day at the pool), and you should be ensuring that your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) contains relevant terms and keywords that can be indexed for people looking outside of your web presence.
Whether you decide to allow just a few types (such as dogs or cats), or a wider selection (such as rabbits, birds and snakes), it’s important to be transparent about what you’re offering, where it’s offered, how much it costs, and what your customers are responsible for.
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