In a 2016 poll by Fortune Magazine, 76% of Americans surveyed described their pets as “beloved members of the family”. This sentiment represents a rising trend in the United States and around the world: people treating their pets like family.
This trend also extends to hotels, where guests nowadays expect and rely on hotel services that cater to pet owners throughout their travels. In a 2014 survey by the travel-planning service TripIt, 43% of respondents said they choose hotels based on how friendly they are to pets, and 77% said their pets have significant influence on their travel plans.So, as travelers opt to hit the road with their furry friends in tow, pet friendly policies in the hospitality industry are more important for customer loyalty than ever before. An article by Market Watch, titled “Pack Mentality: More People Are Traveling With Pets”, explains how vital recent trends for traveling pet owners are to the hospitality industry:
“There's a reason the hospitality and retail trades are slobbering over pet owners. Over the past decade, even as the economy tanked and pet-ownership rates flatlined, spending on pets rose 73 percent, to $51 billion. And marketers scrutinizing this phenomenon reached a new realization: People who treat their pets like family are an especially attractive demographic.”
Why Pet Friendly Policies in the Hospitality Industry Matter
In the same TripIt survey mentioned above, 56% of respondents said their pet impacts how long they stay at a hotel. If they can bring their loved one(s) along, they’re bound to stay longer, and vice versa. Knowing that their furry friend is nearby and well looked after is a huge stress relief for most travelers, especially considering the cost and unreliability of some pet kennels.
Pet friendly policies in the hospitality industry also impact customer loyalty. When properties offer hotel services that cater to pet owners, they stand out against the competition. They appear friendly and welcoming, and guests are much more likely to come back. In Las Vegas, the Vice President of Sales at Caesars Entertainment, Mary Ann Dennis, says her brand’s hotel chains has recently hopped on the trends for traveling pet owners, and the result is impressive. The new policy appeals to every demographic and amounts to roughly 1,200 pet-friendly reservations per month.
"Dennis says it differentiates her brand from the competition… [and] pet guests book slightly longer stays and may also book more frequently.”
As pet-friendly businesses grow in scores around the world, hotels that don’t catch on are likely to fall behind. If you’re not convinced, just check out the smartphone app BringFido that helps pet owners search for pet-friendly hotels and restaurants. There’s also TripWithPets.com, a popular website designed to help pet owners plan travel, and countless articles that help pet owners map out pet-friendly travel options.
Clearly, savvy hotels everywhere are starting to adapt to travelers’ desire to bring pets along. One way hotels can do so is by utilizing promotional hotel products that cater to pets. Choosing products that welcome pets as valued guests doesn’t just make the pets happy, it makes their owners (AKA the customers) even happier. At E Group, we often help our hospitality clients curate promotional products that foster customer loyalty and brand affinity. So, we’ve pooled our brains to compile a list of great promotional products for pet friendly hotels that’ll help create a positive experience for guests and their feline, canine, or feathery friends who come along.
The Best Promotional Products for Pet Friendly Hotels
1. Dog bone neoprene buddy
Providing hotel services that cater to pet owners should make your guests’ lives easier, and these handy bags do exactly that. Flexible and fun bone-shaped neoprene accessory bags have a zippered closure and can be filled with pet friendly items to make potty breaks a little easier. And the outside clip makes it easy to attach to just about anything, so your guests will never accidentally leave it behind.
2. Vinyl dog bone shaped mats
It’s adorable to watch a pet dive into their food bowl, but to save your hotel’s floors and carpets from the ensuing mess, it may be best to provide guests with a vinyl mat to place food and water bowls on. These mats come in different shapes, sizes, and colors and they’re completely washable. They’re durably built with three strong layers and hold up for many uses and washes.
3. Pet travel bowl
Speaking of pet food, let’s not forget the bowls. Metal or ceramic bowls are always a nice option if you’re looking to give your guests something high end, but many guests will be really pleased with a simple, compact travel bowl. If they can take it with them when they leave, that’s even better. This travel bowl set is highly durable and the lids fit tightly, so leaks aren’t a problem. It even comes with a carrying case and shoulder strap, and it’s available in multiple sizes to accommodate any pet, from Tabby Cats to Great Danes.
4. Pet trash bag dispenser
Trash bags are a must for any on-the-go pet owner, but they’re also very easy to forget at home. Help out your pet-loving guests, and give them these fun trash bag dispensers upon check-in. The dispensers come in fun shapes and colors, like fire hydrants and doggie versions. They also come with a supply of bags that can easily be refilled. This simple yet useful gift is a great way to make things just a bit easier for traveling pet owners.
5. Doggie play pack
Every dog owner knows that treats are an absolute must to have on hand, so it’s great to give your guests a designated bag to store them in while they’re on-the-go. You can also upgrade to a doggie play pack which includes a tennis ball, three milk-bone treats, and an imprinted handkerchief with your logo and messaging on it.
6. Sanitizing pet wipes
Save your guests the hassle of bathing their furry companions in hotel bathtubs with these handy sanitizing wipes. They can’t replace baths entirely, but these wipes can certainly keep pets clean for a few days while on the road. They’re a great example of promotional hotel products that cater to pets and also to their busy owners.
7. At-home pet kit
Complete with a food container, bowl, and food scooper, these convenient food kits are a great option for your property’s go-to promotional pet items. These kits are compact and lightweight enough to pack while on-the-go and each piece can be customized with your property’s logo, making them perfect promotional products for pet friendly hotels.
8. Treats in a jar
In many ways, traveling with a pet is like traveling with a child. With the food, treats, cages/beds, and grooming supplies that pets require, it’s easy to accidentally leave an essential item behind. That’s why these customizable treat jars are so perfect for hotel guests. Give them one less thing to pack in their travel bag, and they’ll be so grateful you did.
9. Compact pet brush
Traveling pets deserve to get groomed, too! These compact, fur-friendly brushes are easy to toss into a suitcase or purse, and they’ll help your guests maintain their pets’ grooming while away from home. They can be decorated with your property’s logo and affordable enough to fit any budget.
BONUS: Goodies for the owner
We love our fluffy friends, but pet hair somehow ends up on everything. Be careful not to forget about your most important guests (the pet owners themselves!) and provide them with some travel-friendly pet stain remover and a high quality lint brush. No one likes to go to a meeting or event covered in pet hair.
These products are just a small sampling of the range of promotional hotel products that cater to pets that you can share with your guests. An engagement agency like E Group can help you look at different aspects of your guests’ stay and find product solutions that fit in your budget. If you work in the hospitality industry and you’re looking for ways to engage your employees or guests, keep an eye out for more hospitality articles from your friends at E Group.