Pet Travel

Pet Travel: A missed business opportunity for Accommodation providers

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 close to 50% or 60m+ households.
Today 65% of all hotels across all price ranges in the USA allow dogs.
UK equivalent =? %


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.”

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.”

So who actually travels with their pets?

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 Ownership / Pet Travel
What’s even more relevant in terms of forecasting ahead is that Millennials are already surpassing baby boomers as the largest pet-owning generation.


Benefits of Pet-friendly Policies

There are many benefits for a business, town or region opening its door to pet lovers.

“Pet-friendliness allows hotel (chains) to focus on unique needs of target customers and differentiate themselves without financial investment”

Occupancy Rate
“Additional pet services may drive the occupancy rate without engaging in heavy discounting….potential exists for travel retailers to offer value add-ons to their standard offer that pet owners will pay a premium for”

Loyalty / Customer Lifetime Value
Not only do pet owners travel more frequently / stay for longer: many pet owners stay loyal to pet-friendly hotels, even when not travelling with their pets.

Direct Bookings

Bookings from people travelling with their pets are more likely to be direct as they need to inform the hotel / ensure they get a designated pet-friendly room when booking. These direct booking bypass typical OTA commissions of 15-30 %.

Added Value
“don’t just offer pet-friendly rooms. What are guests supposed to do with their pets during the day? Including local pet services not only bakes pet-friendliness into the core service, it adds real value”

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…….

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

This blog post was provided by

About WoofAdvisor

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For more information:  Contact Gerry Molloy – 353 (0) 87 925 0103 –




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