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Demand for pet friendly accommodation on the rise

South African pet owners are more likely to travel if they can take their pets along.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - According to the Travel Trends Survey of over 2000 participants, South African travellers who require pet friendly accommodation went on holiday less in the past 12 months than others. Pet owners are a niche market with less than 5% of survey respondents who considered pet friendliness to be an essential accommodation facility. Despite its small size, it is a market looking to grow.

Travellers who regularly book pet friendly accommodation through say that there is a lack of pet friendly accommodation and that they would take more holidays if there were more options available.

The survey revealed that travellers interested in pet friendly accommodation are not only travelling less frequently, but are also most likely to drive for only 1 – 4 hours to reach their holiday destination. They are also significantly less interested in facilities like DStv when choosing an accommodation.

“Most pet owners prefer nearby destinations as it puts less stress on their pets,” says TravelGround Operations Manager, Marosane Hutchinson. “Pet owners also tend to lead active lifestyles so indoor activities don’t form as much a part of their ideal holiday plans. Accommodation with a nearby field or hiking trail is a major draw card.”

According to the survey, travellers over the age of 50 are significantly more interested in taking their pets with them on holiday.

“We have a lot of senior guests who think of their pets as their children. We love being able to accommodate the whole family where we can - even the dog,” says Marosane.

The Travelling Tansy guests and pet owners, Willie and Helene van Zyl, refuse to go on holiday without their poodle, Tansy, yet they struggle to find pet friendly accommodation.

“We’d like to have more places available for us and Tansy as she’s an important member of our family. If she cannot enter a place, we won’t either,” says Willie.

Willie isn’t the only one who would change his travel plans for his pet. A 2013 survey by Holiday Cottages UK of 1000 UK participants, found that 1 out of 5 people would take their dogs on holiday and 90% admitted they would change their holiday plans just so they could bring their pet.

“We know how hard it is for pet owners to book holidays. That’s why we added the pet friendly filter to make it easier for our guests to find accommodation on,” says Joint-CEO, Marcel van de Ghinste.

Pet friendly accommodations per province
According to the survey results, travellers from the Western Cape are twice as likely to be interested in pet friendly accommodation as those from Gauteng. From the number of pet friendly accommodations listed on, there is a remarkably large number of establishments that cater to the pet owner market in the Western Cape (389) than in Gauteng (71).
  • 389 in the Western Cape
  • 198 in the Eastern Cape
  • 103 in KwaZulu-Natal
  • 95 in the Free State
  • 93 in the Northern Cape
  • 71 in Gauteng
  • 55 in Limpopo
  • 49 in Mpumalanga
  • 39 in North West

Photo caption: Tansy at Hannah Lodge.
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