Friday, May 9, 2014

Building Hotel Brand Loyalty - The Pet Traveler

For hotels that are becoming pet friendly, there are many opportunities for increased revenue available based on making such a change in policy. But there are many preparations that must be made before the first pet friendly hotel reservation is made. Planning the specifics of exactly what the hotel’s policies are going to be regarding the pets of their guests must come first. Also, the physical property must be readied and made safe for animals and hotel guests. In addition, any special services and amenities, such as pet sitting, need to be decided and planned.


Hotel Pet Policy

What types and sizes of domestic animals will be allowed on hotel property? Will there be breed and/or weight restrictions? These and other crucial questions must be decided and then clearly stated to pet owning hotel guests. Any special pet specific fees or deposits needed to cover the extra cleaning or damage expenses incurred by the hotel in allowing pets must be specifically laid out for guests in terms they will understand. This goes for any and all legal issues as well, which need to limit the hotel’s liabilities as much as possible.

Placing size restrictions on dogs is common in many hotels that allow pets, but this limits the pool of hotel customers as well.  This is probably better handled through refundable deposits rather than limits. Many hotels will not allow cats because of their dander and its potential for causing allergic problems in future room guests. However, if a little extra time is spend thoroughly vacuuming the room and cleaning with specialized sprays this can be avoided. The extra effort and expense can be easily made up by charging higher pet fees to guests with cats, which they will understand.


Hotel Property

The physical layout of the hotel property must be considered in the planning as well. Designated pet exercise and walk areas must be isolated from and not interfere with other guests who don’t have pets. Fencing in these areas will help and be much appreciated by pet owners also. In hotels with multiple floors, it is best to limit pets to rooms on the ground floor level, near any outdoor facilities provided for them.

Rooms must be floored and furnished in a durable, easy to clean fashion. Hard floors will prove better than carpeting for pet designated rooms. Furniture must be made of materials that can be thoroughly cleaned with minimal effort to make ready for the next incoming guest. Breakable items in the room should be limited to only that which is necessary. The safety of the pets must be taken into account regarding items such as electrical wires, which should be protected.


Hotel Pet Services and Amenities

The hotel may want to consider offering specialized pet related ancillary services, including pet sitting and walking for those guests who may desire or need time away from their animals. For hotels that want to go the extra step, available grooming services, hotel provided doggie beds, and a welcome basket of treats and toys will go far in assuring guest loyalty of pets and their owners.

Hotels should additionally ensure their staffs are fully trained in animal safety for the well being of all concerned. This includes the greeting and approaching (or not) of animals unknown to them.

Hotels can clearly benefit from a revenue perspective from going pet friendly. Each hotel must determine if this is a truly beneficial move for them and will not be damaging to their reputations with past or future guests who don’t bring pets for a hotel stay.

Posted via OnFast -

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