PET FRIENDLY TOURISM
Why should your business consider becoming pet-friendly?
Over 65% of Australian households have a pet, the majority of which are dogs.
With millennials having dogs, not babies, pooches are being pampered like never before!
The majority of Australian dog owners would like to bring their dogs on their domestic travels.
People post more about their pets than themselves on social media, and many people create social media accounts for their pets.
Posts with animals get better engagement, feel more authentic and less like advertising, and create less negative responses than posts including people.
The tourism industry is taking notice.
Here are some example campaigns that focus on dog-friendly travel:
- Visit Victoria released the world’s first tourism campaign optimised for dogs, with a video ad featuring sounds and colours optimised for doggy ears and eyes.
- Arkansas ran the dog friendly tourism campaign “Barkansas” with a range of itineraries and experiences.
- Wisconsin prioritised pets over people in their “Dogs are welcome in Wisconsin, and they can bring their people too” campaign.
- #ExploreGeorgia’s tourism team created a dog friendly social media campaign to attract more millennials to their state. They ran competitions alongside hashtags and saw a huge spike in engagement despite a relatively low budget.
Being pet-friendly is more inclusive
- You can also become a more welcoming space for customers with service animals
- Robust, casual furniture and a relaxed vibe might appeal to families with small children
- Outside tables with plenty of space might appeal to folks with sensory issues
So, HOW can you make your business more pet-friendly?
Think it through.
- Is what you’re offering going to be enjoyable and safe for an animal and their human, and are you and your patrons going to be able to relax with animals around?
- Give it a test drive! Get some mates to bring in their pets and get some honest feedback. It’s okay if your business isn’t ready, as long as you know what you’ll need to get there and make it a goal for the future.
- If pets are not having a good time they don’t leave a bad review. They get scared. They might whine and whimper. They might get aggressive and bark, and have confrontations with people and animals. They might get destructive in your space. All these behaviours will impact the pet, the pet-owner, the staff and other patrons.
Think about the space.
- Things to consider:
- Is the flooring kind to paws, or likely to be damaged from nails?
- Will the animal be spending a long time in or near a busy walkway where people and animals are passing? This can be stressful for animals and result in confrontations.
- Can your business ensure that multiple animals can have their own space far enough away from each other to relax?
- Are your furnishings and floors robust enough to withstand a bit of fur, drool and little accidents? And big dogs who still think they’re puppies?
- Can fur and drool be removed from furniture so people with allergies can sit there, or should there be a separate place where people with allergies can sit away from animals?
- Ensure that pet owners know where pets can relieve themselves, and where waste can be disposed of. This is an awkward process, so any way you can make it easier for the pet-owner will be appreciated.
- Aim to provide every animal their own clean water dish to prevent the spread of illness.
Tell people you’re pet friendly!
Promote that you’re pet friendly and make sure you also set your boundaries clearly. If you make the rules and what you offer clear on your website, social media and in your business this will help prevent misunderstandings and disappointments.
PETIFY YOUR PRODUCT
Be creative, be unique, and be true to your business
Pet owners are a diverse bunch with lots of different interests, but they want to share their experiences with their best friend. Their animal companions will also likely share their owners’ level of energy, and enjoy the same activities.
Be friendly to pets
It might seem obvious, but the best way to be a pet-friendly business is to be friendly to pets. Each animal has their own quirks and might need a little extra help to feel relaxed. Ensure your staff are trained to know what they can do to help different pets feel safer in your business.
Create a moment
We know people love taking photos of their pets! A great way to ensure your pet-friendly business is noticed is to create a social media moment that patrons can’t resist capturing.
TELL US WHAT YOU’RE DOING!
Finally, if you have a pet-friendly business please let us know what you’re doing! We’d love to promote you. ☺
Thanks for listening!
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Contact Diantha Vess on [email protected] or (03) 5434 6280