Pet Friendly Accommodation: The Shift in Travel Policy Dynamics

Pet Friendly Accommodation: The Shift in Travel Policy Dynamics

Pet Friendly Accommodation: The Shift in Travel Policy Dynamics
4th October 2023

Today, business owners and managers are placing heightened emphasis on not only fostering sustainability from an environmental standpoint but also prioritising the well-being of their most valuable asset—their employees. For business owners, corporate travel managers, and buyers, aspirations regarding ESG are achieved through an emphasis on duty of care and policies aimed at the safety and well-being of travellers. These aspects are undeniably vital and are adapting to align with market dynamics and the evolving expectations of travellers. As the landscape transforms to embrace a more diverse and inclusive approach, is there room to consider the inclusion of pets in this equation?

Our own research strongly indicates that there is indeed a significant role for pets in this context. In fact, enquiries for pet-friendly accommodations have surged by an astonishing 500% since 2019, totaling over 40,000 inquiries, and this trend shows no signs of diminishing. This surge in demand can be attributed to the substantial increase in pet ownership resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 3.2 million households in the UK alone acquired pets during this period (Source: Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association), and recent research from Forbes underscores that 78% of pet owners worldwide acquired their pets during the pandemic (Source: Forbes Advisor).

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| The rise of Pet-Friendly Accommodation... at a glance

 

SilverDoor offers pet-friendly accommodation on a global scale 

As businesses have resumed office operations, albeit often in hybrid arrangements, and corporate travel has resumed, a significant portion of employees who welcomed pets into their lives during the pandemic, now consider them integral members of their families. Consequently, many are eager to include their furry companions in their business trips.

The Mental Health Foundation highlights advantages of pets when it comes to mental health and overall well-being. Specifically, dog owners experience increased physical activity through regular walks and valuable companionship. These factors are particularly beneficial for corporate travellers on extended stays; benefiting from reduced anxiety, heightened self-confidence, and the positive impact of pet responsibility (such as structured daily routines on focus and a sense of purpose.) 

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It follows, then, that just as 3.2 million households found solace in a new family member during lockdown, and countless established pet owners across the UK and worldwide enjoyed enhanced mental health and well-being, business owners, employees, travel managers, and buyers can also reap the rewards of improved and potentially more productive business trips. These trips can be enriched by happier, more engaged employees accompanied by an additional four-legged companion, offering not only companionship but also comfort with the delightful presence of wagging tails.

However, for corporate entities, buyers, and managers contemplating the inclusion of a pet policy within their travel programs, it's crucial to conduct thorough due diligence across the supply chain to ensure that the operators engaged are fully equipped to accommodate pets. Many operators are currently adapting their pet policies in response to this growing demand, and this trend appears poised to persist.

While this is a positive development, it's essential, during supplier collaboration and even at the request for proposal (RFP) stage, to ask pertinent questions if pets are a significant component of your travel programs. For instance, inquire about the proximity of parks for dog walking, access to local veterinary services, required pet insurance, and the need for a pet passport. Some accommodation providers go the extra mile by offering welcome hampers containing pet food and toys upon arrival. Just as you prioritise the duty of care for your employees, it's equally important to consider the well-being of their pets. 

Fortunately, there are now numerous avenues available to access mental health and well-being support, more than ever before, which should offer reassurance to both employees and business owners. Pets are poised to assume an increasingly significant role in this support network, suggesting that it might be an opportune moment for both them and the corporate travel industry to reevaluate their pet policies.

| Pet-friendly Accommodation:  What our property partners have to say… 

“96% of Cycas hotels, made up of over 45 global branded and independent hotels across 12 countries, are now pet friendly, and hotel teams have played home to all sorts of pets, from cats to birds to fish. However, post-pandemic, with the rise of pet ownership and the wider conversations regarding the positive impact pets can have on mental health and wellbeing, we have now seen a shift in the mindset of pet-friendly travel, even within the corporate traveller.” Martin Hird, Group Director of Sales, Cycas Hospitality

“2 in 5 requests have pets as criteria, the customer landscape has changed post covid and we (the operator) must be flexible in adhering to the needs or else you will be missing out on the fair share of enquiries.” - Naveen Chilamkurty, Revenue Manager at the Residence Apartments

“There’s been an increase of people embracing pets as part of their family nucleus.  When the family travels or relocates from one city to another, they will bring their pets along. Thus, giving rise to increased demand for pet-friendly travel services and products.” -   Serenena Koo, Director of Sales, Lanson Place Singapore

Did you know we have a booking system that can be filtered by Pet-friendly accommodation? Find pet-friendly serviced apartments in London here 


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