With a quarter of British households now owning dogs it is unsurprising the demand for pet-friendly hotels is on the rise.
Dogs are usually considered much loved family members and owners are often loathe to exclude them from their holidays.
Last year Brits spent £4.6 million on their pets – a rise of 25 per cent in five years – and estimates suggest that hotels that open their doors to dogs increase their revenue by an average of 30 per cent.
For some hotels, pet services know no limits, such as the Milestone Hotel in London which has its own ‘dog concierge’ or the Park Hyatt hotel in Vienna where staff will take dogs out to the theatre if requested to do so.
But, making your hotel pet friendly need not be a difficult or overcomplicated process. Here are our top tips:
Communicate your pet friendly services clearly
Decide what pet services you are going to offer – this could be dog walking, pet pampering, food deliveries – and make sure it is included on your website and other information points.
Pet-friendly must extend beyond guest bedrooms
Most pet owners will not be satisfied if their pet is only allowed in their bedroom so work out where pets can be welcomed without causing disturbance or irritation within your hotel ie. in the lounge but not the dining room.
Create a pet-friendly menu
This is a nice touch which pet owners will appreciate even if they don’t use it. It takes little effort and will help win people’s favour by giving a helpful and welcoming impression regarding pets. And could be very useful to those who do not wish to travel with a suitcase full of pedigree chum.
Provide useful information to pet-owner guests
Offer visitors with pets, tips on local parks and walks, dog friendly eateries and drinking spots. You could also consider pairing up with other pet brands or local businesses to offer special deals or promotions.
Offer a personal touch
If you really want to impress your pet loving guests, phone ahead of their arrival or ask them to fill out a form giving you some details of their dog or cat. You can then provide a welcome pack for the pet based on their size, food preferences etc, for example a dog bed, some biscuits and a toy.
Ensure everyone knows when pets are present
Create ‘dog in room’ signs for staff so housekeeping do not get a surprise. Make sure it is also very clear to all guests that pets will be present in some areas of the hotel so that those people with an aversion to such animals can avoid them.
Avon Data’s booking system allows you to communicate easily with guests and input relevant details which will make catering for pets easier than ever.