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Pet Travel: a missed business opportunity for Accommodation & Hospitality Sectors

Fact: Dogs are big business.



In the UK 27% of households have a dog (or dogs) - that's 7.2m households.
In the USA the figure is between 40% and 50% or circa 60m households.
Today 65% of all hotels across all price ranges in the USA allow dogs.
Irish / UK equivalent =? %

Pet Ownership Internationally


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….

 There remains no tour operator specifically targeted towards this consumer group.

 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.” 2

Pet Humanisation



Pet humanisation has been identified as the key driver behind the trend and growth in pet travel, with estimates of as many as 70-80% of pet owners globally treating their pet as a family member.

In 2014, Euromonitor International published its Strategy Briefing on Pet Humanisation Trend and its Strategic Impact on Global Pet Care Markets.  Its main finding was that:

 “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.” 3

 So who actually travels with their pet?



Millennials are the fastest growing target market

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.

Millennials make up 20% of the world’s population and will represent 50% of total global travel spend by 2020…. By 2017, Millennials will outspend baby boomers on hotels.“ 4

Millennials and Pet Travel

 Millennials and Pet Ownership



What’s even more relevant in terms of forecasting ahead is that Millennials have already surpassed baby boomers as the largest pet-owning generation.

Millennials and Pet Ownership

World Population by Generation

Value Proposition for Accommodation Provviders



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 door to pet lovers.

Value Proposition for Accommodation Providers


Opportunity for Destination Marketing / Tourism Clusters

 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 e.g. Cafes, Restaurants, Pubs, Beaches, Walks, Parks…….

Destination Marketing - Tourism Clusters


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  • Gfk Pet Ownership Survey 2016
  • Euromonitor November 2013
  • Gina Westbrook, Director, Strategy Briefings 8th October 2014
  • Failte Ireland CEO Shaun Quinn 2016
  • Experian Marketing Services, Simmons National Consumer Survey 2016
  • 2015 4th annual travel survey Pet Insurer Petplan


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