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WHAT'S THE BUZZ IN HOSPITALITY?

Accommodating Furry Hotel Guests – Just a Passing Phase?

Jan 17,2020

For animal lovers, it’s hard to think of a time when Fido was not at our side. Going on vacation can be daunting faced with the prospect of leaving our loyal companions with friends or family who, despite their best intentions, will disrupt Fido’s routine.

Traveling with pets is increasingly common. Travelers are willing to pay extra money to stay at properties that welcome cats and dogs, and many are offering specialized services for our loyal companions. In particular, Europe is ideal for those seeking pet-friendly hotel destinations. In Germany, France, Italy and Austria, more than 40% of hotels accommodate pets. Canada comes in at 34%, per the research study conducted by Trabber.  The U.S. is not far behind according to a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), with 75% of luxury, mid-scale, and economy hotels now allowing our furry friends.

This is not just good news for our beloved companions who have more opportunities to explore the world. The research also signifies pet-friendly accommodations are not just a passing phase. So how do hotels manage it all?  Kimpton boutique hotels are good examples of properties that offer pet-friendly hotel stays according to the AKC (American Kennel Club). They have pet goodies including plush pet-bed loaners in the guest rooms, food and water bowls, and pet mats. Plus, there may even be a Director of Pet Relations to assist with any needs.

Some pointers that experts recommend for hotels considering becoming pet-friendly properties include:

  • Fees are customary to travelers who stay with pets. Hotels may consider holding a security deposit and then refunding it at checkout.
  • Consider limiting the number of pets per guest room, and be as transparent as possible about any set limits.
  • Openly share the details of the hotel's pet policy, including any rules or requirements about breeds and weight limits. Most pet-friendly establishments have a waiver or policy that guests sign upon check-in, but no guest wants to wait until check-in to learn that their Great Dane cannot be accommodated.
  • Some hotels have a concierge service or can recommend a pet sitter for guests who aren't permitted to take Fido while sightseeing.

Regardless of the property, taking care of Fido is getting easier, especially with software that allows staff an automated tool for managing tasks, perhaps even those pet-related tasks.

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