When it comes to running a successful rental chalet, there are various factors to consider, from location and amenities to pricing and marketing. But one question that many chalet owners grapple with is whether to make their property pet-friendly.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of catering to four-legged guests, understanding the demand for pet-friendly chalets, the challenges that come with it, and the advantages it offers to both guests and owners.
Understanding the demand for pet-friendly chalets
The growing trend of pet-friendly accommodations
In recent years, there has been a noticeable surge in the number of travellers seeking pet-friendly accommodations. Pet owners often view their furry companions as integral family members, and the emotional connection they share doesn’t diminish when they go on holiday.
According to surveys and travel industry reports, an increasing number of people prefer not to leave their pets behind when they travel, and they actively seek lodging options that welcome their pets with open arms.
In fact, Condor Ferries reports that over half (53%) of pet owners worldwide choose to bring their beloved four-legged friends along on their holiday adventures. Additionally, a substantial 37% of families now include pets in their holiday plans. Notably, this percentage has seen a notable increase of 19% over the past decade
This growing trend is driven by the desire to make travel experiences more complete and enjoyable for both humans and their pets. Pet owners value the convenience and peace of mind that pet-friendly accommodations offer.
A lucrative market
From a financial perspective, embracing the pet-friendly trend can be a smart move. By allowing pets in your chalet, you tap into a niche market that is willing to pay a premium for pet-friendly services. Moreover, pet owners tend to stay longer and return more frequently when they find a chalet that accommodates their furry companions.
Some successful chalets have capitalised on this trend by not only allowing pets but also offering bespoke services and amenities tailored to pet owners.
Increased bookings and profits: an example from OVO Network partner chalets
To give an example, we’ve taken two semi-detached chalets located in the Aravis with the exact same characteristics and style.
Both sleep eight guests, with four bedrooms and two bathrooms and span over 100m2. The only difference is that one property accepts pets whereas the other does not.
In 2022 the property that accepted pets, sold 11.18% more nights than the other property and generated 9% more bookings.
Similarly, in 2023, the property that accepted pets sold 15.25% more nights than the other property, received 31.25% more bookings, and generated 13.92% more revenue.
The advantages of a pet-friendly property
- Enhanced travel experiences for pet owners and their companions;
- Reduced stress and worry for pet owners;
- Ability to enjoy an extended stay;
- They save money on pet boarding back at home.
- Attracting a niche market, increasing occupancy rates and maximising income;
- Opportunities for premium pricing and additional revenue from pet-related services;
- The chance to boost bookings in the off-season;
- A competitive edge in the hospitality industry;
- Improved guest reviews and word-of-mouth referrals.
The challenges of pet-friendly chalets
While the benefits of welcoming pets into your chalet are enticing, there are challenges to consider as well.
Balancing luxury with practicality
Maintaining a high standard of luxury in your chalet while accommodating pets can sometimes be challenging. Pet-friendly design and furnishings should strike a balance between elegance and functionality. So you need to think about materials that are easy to clean and durable, yet still exude a sense of sophistication.
Managing allergies and cleanliness
To address concerns about allergies and cleanliness, invest in modern cleaning technologies and practices that cater to pet owners. Regular deep cleaning, hypoallergenic bedding, and air purification systems can help ensure a clean and allergy-free environment for all guests.
Remember to consider the safety of pets, too. For example, ensure you remove any plants that are toxic to animals and secure the garden and pool if you have one.
Setting clear guidelines for pet behaviour
Establishing clear rules for pets within the chalet is crucial. Create a pet code of conduct that outlines expectations for guests travelling with pets, ensuring that their four-legged companions don’t disturb other guests or damage the property.
Many chalet owners will prohibit pets from entering bedrooms or jumping on the furniture, for example. Additionally, it’s a good idea to provide dog waste bags to encourage guests to pick up after their dogs.
Implementing pet-friendly amenities and services
To cater to pet owners effectively, consider the following:
Thoughtful amenities for pets
Offer desirable amenities such as pet beds, feeding stations, and outdoor play areas. Customisation options for different types of pets, whether they are dogs, cats, or other animals, can make a significant difference in guest satisfaction.
Partnering with local pet services
Collaborating with nearby veterinarians, pet sitters/walkers, and groomers can add immense value to your chalet. It provides guests with convenient access to essential pet services, making their stay more enjoyable and hassle-free.
Local recommendations and activities
Draw on your local knowledge and recommend activities in the nearby area which can be enjoyed with pets. For example, highlight the most popular dog walks and dog-friendly cafés and restaurants for added value.
The decision to make your chalet pet-friendly should be based on consideration of the demand, potential benefits, and challenges involved. But while there are hurdles to overcome, embracing the pet-friendly trend can open up new revenue streams and attract a loyal customer base. With thoughtful planning, clear guidelines, and a commitment to maintaining high standards, a pet-friendly chalet can be a rewarding venture for both guests and owners alike.
At OVO Network, we support owners in all aspects of their business, helping them build strong relationships with loyal guests. From guest communication to marketing, revenue/booking management, photography and more – our experts can help turn your chalet business into a success.
Finally, don’t forget to sign up for our Industry Insider Newsletter and be the first to receive tips on running your holiday rental business, expert opinions and the latest industry news.
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