The World Travel Market

November 12, 2007 04:00 ET

World Travel Market: Have Pet Will Travel

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 12, 2007) - Britain's pets are jumping off the leash and onto the travel bandwagon. A dog's life is becoming a lot more enviable.

More and more UK consumers are taking man's best friend along for the holiday ride.

Hotels and B&Bs are throwing out the welcome mats to the paws of dogs - and cats - as well as resounding to the pitter patter of toddlers and teenagers.

The upsurge in holidaying families wishing to bring along their pets is growing and set to rise significantly in the next five years.

"The demand for pet-friendly holiday packages and facilities in this country is astonishing," said World Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery. "At this rate I won't be surprised to see hotels offer 'four-poster beds with luxury en-suite kennel accommodation for Fido or pure organic cotton lined cat baskets!

"The World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2007 has been
produced in partnership with market intelligence company Euromonitor International and highlights how hotels in the UK are beginning to realise the room for growth in this sector.

"Some are already accommodating and catering to dogs, cats, birds and larger animals such as ponies and horses."

World Travel Market, taking place at ExCeL London this week, is the leading international business to business event for the global travel industry with nearly 50,000 senior and middle management delegates.

The number of pets in the UK is set to rise to 49 million this year, with spending on them expected to reach Pounds Sterling 2.7 billion.

The online pet services directory www.petplanet.co.uk lists 1,427 establishments - mostly independent hotels - across the UK that allow animals.

Of these North Yorkshire (173), Cumbria (161) and Devon (150) are the most pet friendly areas.

The most standard services offered include food and water bowls, on-site kennels, bedding, pet cuisine and ID tags.

Holne Chase in Devon offers a two-night package for dogs accompanying their owners that includes king-sized basket accommodation, dog cuisine and even a blind date with their resident dog Batty the Basset!

In North America, hotels allowing pets has increased by nearly 30 per cent since 1999.

Clement Wong, Euromonitor International's Global and Tourism Research Manager said: "We predict that in the next two years we will see many more hoteliers offering pet-friendly services.

"Considering the success in the US of PAW (Pets are Welcome) offered at Starwood's W Hotels, it may not be too long before other international hotel groups recognise the business potential. It is the UK's domestic tourism industry who will be the biggest beneficiary of the rise of the pet travel sector."

Fiona Jeffery added: "Whether the UK will go the route of the US with consumer magazines dedicated to pet travel is debatable, but certainly there is a real opportunity for the hotels to tap into a growing, but vastly underdeveloped market."

For further information on the above, key concepts and themes during World Travel Market, exhibitor activity and events, please refer to www.wtmlondon.com or contact the World Travel Market Press Office on +44 (0) 1580 201178

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