Often overlooked as a niche market, Pet Travel is a large and growing – and evolving – market (with Millennials increasingly to the fore), and a missed business opportunity for the Accommodation & Hospitality sectors.
Many overseas visitors (UK, France, Germany) do not travel here at all as they consider Ireland to be so unfriendly in its treatment of dogs. In addition, a large majority of domestic Pet Lovers opt for self-catering accommodation as they believe there are so few serviced accommodation options available.
While they are both largely correct, the perception is actually worse than the reality. The question is: Why?
WoofAdvisor was founded to cater for both sides of this market: Pet Lovers who increasingly want to find dog-friendly Accommodation, and the Accommodation, Hospitality & Pet sectors who are missing out on this opportunity.
It’s not just a question of accommodation: people travelling with their dogs are also looking for dog-friendly Cafes, Pubs, Restaurants etc., as they cannot leave the dog alone in their hotel room, do not want to leave it the car, or are out for the day or on a walk and just want a pit stop – with their Dog!
Euromonitor International analysed the missed business opportunity thus:
“Pet travel represents opportunities for additional revenue growth of up to 30% per year for hotel and travel agents which choose to incorporate pet services…….Pet owners are also prepared to pay a premium to guarantee the health and well-being of their four-legged friends, up to over 30% on standard prices.”
“Pet owners are increasingly treating their cats, dogs and even small mammals like members of their family. The opportunity to commercialise this trend into a vast range of goods and services is staggering for the company that can position itself to gain credibility among this growing demographic.” *
In addition to less competition in locale-based pet-friendly accommodation search results, there are many benefits – of significant value – for a business, town or region opening its doors to pet lovers.
While the ‘baby boomer’ or ‘empty nester’ generation has been the traditional mainstay of the pet travel market, the landscape is changing, with Millennials increasingly coming to the fore in terms of travel, pet ownership, and pet travel.
Shaun Quinn Failte Ireland CEO 2016:
“Millennials are 20% of world population, will represent 50% of global travel spend by 2020″.
“By 2017, Millennials will outspend baby boomers on hotels. Millennials have already surpassed Baby Boomers in terms of Pet Ownership”**
As stated earlier, people travelling with their pets are not just looking for pet-friendly accommodation: they also need all the local pet-friendly hospitality options and amenities: Cafes, Restaurants, Pubs, Beaches, Walks, Parks……
The benefit with this approach is that all local stakeholders benefit.
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