How The Lockdown Caused An Increase In The Popularity Of Pet-Friendly Hotels

One reason why there is a new supply of pet friendly hotels is because there is an increase in demand. Simply, people are increasingly travelling with their pets. 

Pet-friendly hotels are becoming increasingly popular. It’s a service that both large and small hotels provide to their guests. If you’re a hotelier, making your resort pet-friendly could help you attract new guests.

Why? These one-of-a-kind hotels are gradually gaining popularity.

One reason why there is a new supply of pet friendly hotels is because there is an increase in demand. Put simply, people are increasingly travelling with their pets. 

There is evidence (anecdotal admittedly) that suggests that during the pandemic lockdowns, people stayed at home most of the time — to the delight of their pets. The relationship between “man and dog” (change either for gender and animal) deepened. And the emotional attachments that have grown during the stay-at-home periods are causing separation anxiety not in pets but also pet parents.

Ergo, now people travel with their pets.

While there is a cuteness to this development, the question remains as to whether hotels have been ready to accept pets in the rooms. In a country like India, most hotels cater to a business clientele. Pets — and indeed, kids — are not natural companion travellers to businesspersons.

The more savvy among hotels see this as an opportunity and creating a safe and friendly environment for pets and pet parents has created a new market that we dare assess is profitable.

Pet friendly hotels do all they can to ensure that their furriest guests are comfortable. Food bowls, water bowls, outdoor play spaces, and dog runs are among the pet-friendly features available at hotels.

Hotels’ F&B contribute too. “Doggie cuisine,” — with room service menus specifically catered to the tastes of dogs — encourages guests to order in. Who will not enjoy a nice meal with their dog for company.

Industry experts, such as hotel consultant, Virender Razdan advocates that hotels adapt to the new “new” and change their former traditional (read, stodgy?) ways; the underlying advice being that adapting to the shakes of the new market, in any form, is always profitable.

Pet friendliness is one such.

There’s the “pet fee”. And there’s the potential to increase ARR (i.e., charge higher prices for) on regular rooms. And the kicker, it can help hotels stay booked all year round, in and out of the tourist season.

They say that when you take a dog by its paw, you take its pet mom by the heart. So there’s that — brand loyalty.  (Ok, we made up the “hearts” bit.)

For guests, traveling with pets can mean a lot of extra packing: dog blankets, dishes, and toys. Not unlike travelling with infants.

For hotels, it might mean having to care for pets while the parent goes off on work. Hotels then might have to create facilities to take care of pooches while they are without their parents.

Hotels that are pet friendly have to think of everything. A comfortable, grassy pet rest area is always the most important feature. However, some hotels offer welcome goodies, pet beds and bowls in rooms, canine room service menus, spa treatments, and pet care services. There are also hotels with restaurants that allow pets on their patios. 

But again, it is worthwhile to remember that hotels were created for humans who are strangers, not overly familiar, salivating dogs. Pet parents might want to check ahead with the hotel on what is and isn’t allowed before arriving with man’s BFF.

Some hotels even extend the evening cocktails to pets.

They call it the “Yappy hour”.

THINGS TO CHECK

Are there pet fees?

Are there premiums on room damage? (Blackie’s taste for sofa corners may be more expensive than anticipated.)

How many pets per room?

Are there weight or breed restrictions?

SOME PET FRIENDLY HOTELS IN INDIA

ITC Hotels : Pawfect Vacations 

TAJ SeleQtions: Pawcations

Four Seasons, Mumbai

Della Resorts, Lonavala 

ITC Grand Bharat, Gurgaon

Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, Goa 

Taj Green Cove Resort and Spa, Kovalam

Zostel Jodhpur

Novotel Kolkata

PetsWelcome, BringFido, Expedia, and Tripadvisor are just a few of the travel websites that feature hotels that allow pets.

With inputs by Abhirami R

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