Now pets can travel in style, too
Just a few years ago, the sight of a dog hanging out in a hotel lobby would have been an anomaly. Now, it’s almost commonplace to see leashes among the luggage. Because customer demand for pet-friendly accommodations has grown so great, many hotels and airlines have said goodbye to “No dogs allowed” pet policies. Some have even created special programs to appeal to friends of the four-legged.
Get hip to this travel trend so you can offer your customers the ability to experience luxury with their lapdogs in tow.
Approximately 18% of adult leisure travelers in the United States take their pets with them when they travel, according to USTravel.org. New services and amenities designed to pamper four-legged travelers offer a range of options for people who want to take their pets on the road.
At Starwood’s W Hotel, four-legged family members are always welcome. At check-in, dogs and cats receive their own welcome packet complete with toys and treats. Weary tail waggers can refresh from their long journeys by curling up in special pet beds, then lapping from food and water dishes placed in their rooms. Concierges provide recommendations for walking paths, grooming and veterinary services and even the nearest dog parks.
Kimpton Hotels, the largest boutique hotel company in the United States, has pet-friendly policies in nearly all of their 50 American properties. The services and amenities vary by location, but all packages include a “pawdicure” and shampoo, dog umbrellas, bones and leashes. Guests who left their pets at home don’t have to miss out on the fun—they can participate in Kimpton’s “Guppy Love” program, and borrow a pet fish for the duration of their stay.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts has a “special perks for paws” offer. Other chains with pet-friendly policies include Hard Rock Hotels, La Quinta Inn & Suites, Renaissance Hotels, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Best Western and Motel 6.
According to the Animal Medical Center, more than 500,000 pets travel by plane each year. Each airline has its own policies and associated fees, so be sure to read the fine print. While statistics show that this is a relatively safe process, you might want to tell travelers to check with their veterinarians before sending Fido in the sky, since not all pets make the best jet-setters.
Even if the hound is as healthy as a horse, the customer’s pet should visit to the doctor before travel. Depending on the destination, documents offering proof of vaccinations and good health status may be required. Remind your customers to make sure paperwork is up to date. Keep their best friends’ best interests in mind by encouraging travel during months with milder weather conditions, as extreme heat and cold can make animal travel unwise.
Resources for Rover
Need more help planning a pet-friendly vacation? Check out animal behaviorist Cesar Millan’s blog for Best Western; this best-selling author and host of “Dog Whisperer” on the National Geographic Channel offers advice on car travel, hiking and more.
Find great options for every customer request—even the four-legged variety—with Amadeus Hotels Plus. You’ll sell hotels like never before with simple, intuitive navigation that helps you search, compare and market hotels with speed.
Amadeus Hotels Plus is available as part of the NEW Amadeus Selling Platform Connect*. Book anywhere, anytime with this personal, Web-based platform, which allows you to efficiently manage all your customers’ preferences (including information about their furry travel companions) and details in one area.
Want to comment on this story? Send us an email!