Pet-Friendly Travel Grows and Hotels Open Their Doors to Dogs, Cats and More: Travel Weekly
The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred an already growing trend for dog owners to travel with their doggies, and hotels are stepping up lenient policies and additional amenities to attract guests who don’t want to part with their dogs.
The pandemic has sparked the right recipe to spur the increase in travel with pets, according to Jason Halliburton of the pet travel and lifestyle website BringFido.com, starting with the adoption boom puppies in the first weeks of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in the spring of 2020. An ASPCA survey released in May found that one in five respondents had acquired a dog or cat during the pandemic.
Additionally, Covid-19 has forced a drop in the more difficult types of travel with pets and an increase in more accommodating types of travel such as car, car or RV travel. Halliburton also highlighted the new flexibility of working from home that allows many people to take longer trips and workstations where they are more inclined to take the family dog.
“We have seen a very favorable trend line for us,” Halliburton said for BringFido hotel reservations and other services. “After the initial phase of closure we have been extremely busy.”
BringFido’s vacation rental and hotel bookings were up 140% and 55%, respectively, in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, according to Halliburton, and the average value of bookings and length of stay. stay also experienced double-digit percentage growth. within the time frame.
“Traveling with dogs and hotels and other more pet friendly services was a trend that was already happening before the pandemic, but Covid-19 accelerated it,” Halliburton said. “It’s hard to say how many years to come this has driven us, but I would say it’s several years.
“The hotels in the recreation area are in direct competition with rentals for these customers, and it’s a very compelling product. More and more, you have to accommodate pets to attract that leisure customer. “
As a result, hotels are converting to pets, and those that were already are offering special incentives to dog owners.
Earlier this year, Encore at Wynn Las Vegas and Hard Rock Hotels both announced they allow pets with a menu of additional dog amenities.
In Waikiki, Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club General Manager Lynette Eastman has turned to an extremely pet-friendly policy to keep rooms occupied during the first months of lockdown when travel to Hawaii has gone downhill. almost ceased and she sees no turning back.
Eastman removed weight limits and pet fees, and also started accepting other animals like cats and rabbits. She attributes the change to helping keep business going during the first months of the pandemic, when the hotel accommodated travelers in quarantine on essential commercial and military transfers and provided a competitive advantage in 2021 as more regular travelers were coming back.
The influx of four-legged visitors increased the clean-up load, and Eastman said it took 24 hours to return rooms that had pets.
But, she added, “in this time of the Covid pandemic, extra cleaning is probably a good thing all around.”
Eastman has had a pandemic puppy herself. Jack, a mix of French and English Bulldog, now serves as the hotel’s mascot and playmate for other canine guests.
“You, me, nothing will ever be like in January 2020,” she said. “I expect the pet policies and trend to continue in hotels. Families won’t want to leave their furry family members behind.”
The InterContinental New York Barclay welcomed its own dog, Bowie, this summer, and general manager Sofia Vandaele said she has seen an increase in the number of guests checking in with dogs this year. The hotel ran a Pooch package promotion during the summer that waived pet fees while offering upgraded accommodations and special pet treats.
“I think pet friendly accommodation will continue to grow,” said Vandaele. “Pets are often an extra member of the family, and I think it’s difficult for people to leave them behind on occasion.
“In addition to pet-friendly hotels, I think we’ll also start to see more pet-friendly workplaces, restaurants and shops. ”