On vacation with your pet…
Sounds simple, sounds fun, sounds like a good break from routine. Why then, has this not become a common (atleast an annual) theme among families ? The answer lies in the details. Put pen to paper and start planning this seemingly simple pet holiday and you will realise syncing dates with family and friends is the leaset of your worries.
It would be fair to say that the globally (USA, Australia, Singapore, Western Europe and few other regions) pet holidays are a more widely accepted concept as a holiday theme amongst pet parents.
India, I believe, is moving in the right direction, albeit taking baby steps. To be fair, our industry and our infrastructure and systems have thus far and continue to focus on getting our billion plus population(largely untouched by the concept of exploratory holidays as we understand it) to experience a holiday and venture out. As a result of which pet holidays do not feature very high on service providers list of easy conversion and high traction concepts.
From a cultural perspective, India continues to be ambivalent towards pet and pet travel. Our general approach to life that allows for adjustments and accept and make compromises with relative ease holds us in good stead here. Travelling pet families will find it a pleasant surprise. Be it the ticket collector and co-passengers on the train, the tourist taxi driver or even the bell hop at resorts who are tagged as pet friendly.
Where one sees and will continue to witness immense positive change is in our travel and holiday infrastructure. With a burgeoning and one of the fastest growing holiday markets, infrastructure improvements go a long way in eliminating a lot of challenges families would expect while travelling with their four legged furry or not so furry friend.
Hotels who have always welcomed pets are finding means and ways to get closer to their target market, while fence sitters are realising that this adds an element of differentiation which is valuable in a world of google searches and key word advertising.
The final piece of the jigsaw, to complete the picture is the pet family themselves. In India, the pet family market is slowly but surely evolving (not just growing). By this I mean openness to new experiences and services. A sizable portion of pet families are late first generation or even second generation while every year increasing number of families take the leap and become pet families. This makes the target market more comfortable with the idea of shared experiences with their pets. Signs of these are visible in the various services that are popping up to cater to this segment, ranging from pet cafes, pet focused social media, pet apps and many more.
For the economists, what you see at play is Adam Smith’s invisible hand at work. The market being of economic relevance, resources will gravitate towards this segment to cater to their needs. For the rest of us, get set and expect more such services and offerings and do not hesitate to give them a try, at the end of the day watching your pet have a whale of time is well worth it.
Happy Pet Holidays to all of us  !