Pet Accommodation Trend in Hotels

PetAccommodation Trend in Hotels

Inthe recent years hotel industry has been developing fast due to therising demand from the people who requires their services. Thisfactor has led to the many entrepreneurs to invest more in the hotelindustry than other industrial sectors. Financial investors have beenadvising entrepreneurs to invest in hotels due to the emergence ofmore demand due to the globalization whereby people keep on travelingoutside world each and every day. When one goes to the other country,the only place to be secure most is only in hotels where he gets allthe required services. The hotel industry has been facing challengesdue to the stiff competition from both local and internationallevels. Globalization has made it easier for the foreign corporationto invest in any country they have interestin. Maximum guestsatisfaction being one of the goals and the objectives of the hotelindustry, the investors have been looking for new ways of satisfyingand attracting new customers both locally and internationally. Due tothe competition in the hotel industry, investors have found ways ofimproving their services to the guests by ensuring that customers canbook accommodation online from their website that is universal,employment of qualified hotel attendance who are skills and knows todeal with clients well and ensuring that customers safety is theirmain responsibility. Once the customer is safe from any distractions,he/she will be able to enjoy and appreciate all the right servicesprovided to them. Trends and changes introduced in the hotel industryincludes introduction of the mobile check-in services andself-service, booking of the hotel online through their website, refining and expanding ancillary revenue services, integration of thewellness into the guest experience, transforming the traditionallobby and many others.

Recentlyglobalization has made it easier and simpler to move from one countryto another for business trips or vacations. Due to the advancedtechnology it has been easy for one to know the number of good hotelsin different countries and what hotel he/she will spend their time onthe trip. Once one has the information of the hotel interested tospent time on, one can book the hotel online for the accommodationand all other services available in that hotel. The hotel industryhas trended to ensure that customers provide self-services tothemselves as different people have different tastes, as it easierfor one to please himself/herself that to be satisfied with otherpeople. Hotel executives have ensured that customers benefit from theself-service check-in because the reduction of the face-to-faceinteractions of the guest and the staffs may be healthy for guestmostly those who are on business trips. Hotels nowadays encourage theuse of credit cards and ATMs due to the emerged technology thatrequires one to use them in normal operations, and this makes iteasier for the guests to transact with them without anyinconvenience. The use of mobile check-in in the hotel has a positiveimpact on the guest as they are saved the risk of money theft frompeople who have the evil intention of stealing or conning guests. Bighotels like FIVE STAR has ensured that the customers’ safety isconsidered as it is their priority and that the guest complaints arebeing sorted out as fast as possible. The use of the credit cardsmakes it easy for them to carry and it is also secure to use themhate giving cash. This enhances them to be always on top as allpeople have full trust in them because they believe that with themthey will come out safe and sound with maximum satisfaction.

“Thehotels have been motivating guest through booking directly to thebrand.com. This has enabled guests to pay their hotel bills inadvanced, and it does not matter where you are. The hotel industryhas ensured that bookings are not created equally, and hotel chainsare using different strategies to drive bookings directly to theirbrand channels. Hotels are introducing amenities like the free WI-FIto guests who book directly into their systems. Wi-Fi ensures thatthe business people who most of the times uses the internet enjoys heservices. They are investing heavily in their brand.com and mobileofferings. Hotels employ various strategies to help in directbookings, including things like promotions and best price guarantees,but without a data given the approach to evaluating success, topmanagement cannot be confident in the incremental impact of eachinitiative. The managers only use information that are reliable forthem to make any decisions but not to guess what is right or wrong.Hotels industry take the risk of tarnishing brand reputation bydiscriminating between direct and guests. &nbspHotels are offeringincentives to different guests to understand the impact of each guestand minimize the risk that may occur.

Theleading hotel brands like Sheraton are transforming lobbies fromsingle-use areas into multifunctional spaces interchangeably used formeetings, workings, or for dining. These mostly attract businesstravelers, as corporate offices themselves are flexible andcollaborative workspaces that enable them to have space for theiroperations of discussing their things or having their meals. Whenmaking the decision on the construction of the lobbies, the hotelowners decide on the size according to the need to of the lobbies.Then measure the size of the rooms appropriate for their targetedcustomers and the revenue to be generated accordingly of capitalexpenditures and appreciate how the impact varies created on hoteland market features.&nbspFor example, a speculation in a largerhotel may be fruitful in business-focused properties while hotelswith an advanced percentage of leisure guests may be served betterdedicating that space to a social lounge with chaise longue andTVs.&nbspThe hotel executives who are interested in this needs tomaintain a competitive advantage over its competitors throughout theyear. The hotel management needs to predict which programs works thebest, and it should maximize productivity while minimizing the riskassociated.

Thehotel industry goal being customers’ maximum satisfaction, therehas been increasing the number of travelers who ensures that theirhealth is fit throughout the whole journey. &nbspHotels industry areresponding with wellness rooms that are best for human survival ofthe guests. The room are conditioned with the best air conditioners,and the hotel attendance is well trained with skills to handle allkind of the people. The shift towards “wellness tourism” providesthe potential for the hotels is to pull in new visitor portions thenagain, a one-size-fits-all way to deal with these increments willleave dollars on the table and present pointless workingunpredictability. For instance, changing over customary lodging roomsto wellbeing rooms that incorporate sleeping pad and showeradjustments, may create adequate incremental bookings tocounterbalance the expenses of one property, while at another areathe same activity might just tear up conventional visitor roomswithout a subsequent lift in bookings. The hotel industry has ensuredthat the management of the hotel are educated on the best way to dealwith customers as there may target the customers who generate moneyfor them and the hotel in general. The key function of administratorsis to understand the impact of each fee on key metrics to find theway to explain to the customers.&nbspFor example, a business-focusedhotels may find that guest demand is less on the Wi-Fi or mini-barpayments but they should major on customers’ privacy, and propertywith more vacation guests may find that introducing or accumulativethese same fees may drive a noteworthy decline in bookings. &nbspHotelproducts that rigorously test different fee blends on a small-scalefirst are more likely to be successful in finding the most lucrativemix and size for fees.”

Thehotel industry has ensured that they have spread the information tothe customer about its performance and advancement in its operationsthrough advertising. Advertisement of the hotel information attractsnew customers because they are made known of the existence of thehotel and the services they provide. They make sure that theirinformation is spread all over the website giving the informationabout the fee they charge on their accommodation fees and the fees ofthe services they provide at the hotel. This gives the customers timeto prepare for the money needed in the hotel. The hotel managementgives the loyal customers discounts depending on the time they havespent in the hotel. This ensures that the customers do not shifttheir loyalty to another hotel thereby maintaining their customerending up attracting new customers. The good advertisement givesforth good results of widening customers market. Advertising alonedoes not mean that the customers will come to the hotel, but theprovision of the things they advertise to the full is what will makecustomers stay and call for new customers.

Thehotel industry nowadays targets customers who are who will pay morefor the greater experience. This ensures that the customer will paywell for their services like lobby bars, restaurants, and foodservices. The main targets are the millennials who spends a lot ofmoney to the hotel as they like enjoying and use of luxury things. Itis achieved by the fact that only rich or the people who have moneywill be able to move from one country to another there making it easyfor them to decide who will be able to pay the accommodation fee inthe hotel. For example, the FIVE STAR HOTEL only people who arefinancially strong can pay the accommodation fees and the servicesfees to the hotel. This means that not all the people can accommodateon big hotels and it’s only those who are financially fit can dothat. People who are stable on financial matters can spend more onthe luxurious things thereby making the hotel earn more from themwithout wasting time or money on them. People who have money may findit easy to spend money on simple things like the message because theylike the habit of spending more on little things that may not be ofvery valuable to them.

Thehotel industry has diversified its activities from food services andaccommodation to the provision of different generates them money likethe activities of the gymnasium and the spas. The gym and the spasare forte body fitness, and this ensures that those people who wantto lose their weight and body fitness have to use them. Theseactivities encourage people to book for the accommodation of thehotel because they can get all the luxury activities in the sameplace and the same building. This saves time as they can get all theywant in the same place. It makes the hotel get more money from theseactivities. Diversification increases the income for the hotel, andthis enhances the hotel not to rely fully on just one thing likeaccommodation alone. When there is low demand for the accommodationsand the food service, the hotel can earn income from the otheractivities like the gym and spas. These activities attract newcustomers as they are sure of maximum satisfaction from the hotelitself.

Therehas been an enhancement in the speed and efficiency in the hotelindustry due to the installment of decent technology and equipment’sthat ensures that all the transactions done by the hotels are safeand faster. The efficiency of the activities in the hotels hassupported more on the safety of the guest who transacts with thehotel. This ensures that the customers are safe in their activitiesand transactions in the hotel. Once the customers feel, they are safen their activities and transactions they want to deal more and morewith the hotel. This leads to rising in confidence for the customersbecause they are sure that there is no delay in activities in thehotel. The demand for the decent equipment’s has ensured the hotelis in good condition for those people who frequently train in the ownbenefits that may be for the body fitness or for commercial purposeslike those who train for the athletics. Decent equipment installed inthe hotels like in the gyms ensures that the safety of the customerswho uses this equipment in the body exercise. Business people arevery busy with their activities, so speed and efficiency mean a lotto them because they on the planned business trip and every minutecount to them. The faster the organization, the better it is for thetravelers who are on the business trip. Those travelers who arevacations or holidays do not care much about the speed because theyare there to enjoy their times in the hotel. Efficiency does notmatter whether you are on vacation or business trips because Igeneral all the people worried about their finance situation in oneway or another. Efficiency and speed even if they are not taken onconsideration they have the influence to the customers no matter whattheir intentions are.

Dueto the rise in complaints from the customers who have not beensatisfied with their services, the hotel industry has advocated forthe introduction of the customer service department that responds andrectify customer complaints. This department ensures the hotel meetscustomers’ expectations through rectifications of the complaints.It enhances that the promise given to the customers have beendelivered to them without no delay, and this raises customersconfidence and reliability to the hotel. The department ensures thatthe hotel information is realistic, this means that the hotel shouldnot exaggerate its information to attract customers using misleadinginformation. It is through this department that customer loyalty isenhanced and supported. Customer service ensures that the customer’sfeedback is considered important.

Hotelsalaries and wages have gone up due to the rise in the livingstandard and trending economic issues. This is to ensure that thestaffs does not go to another industry looking for a good payingsalary than the one already given. Good salary motivates workers towork hard to enjoy their work, and this ensures that the hotelindustry does well in the activities. The good pay ensures that thehotel industry employs qualified personnel’s through are skilled intheir activities and qualifications. Good hotels are reflected in theimage of its employees who acts as an image for the hotel. Goodsalary enhances that employees dress well, and they are neat therebyenhances guests to enjoy their services with no complaint in theirservice provision.

Themanagement of hotel industry has changed in the recent years becauseof the strictness in the management of this industries. The hotelindustry consists of a board of directors who makes the decisionssuitable for the operation of the hotel. The board of directorsemploys the executives for the hotel who are responsible for thesmooth running of the whole hotel. The executives are in charge ofthe departmental managers who are in charge of the management eachdepartment. The departmental manager is the one responsible to theservice providers who meet face-to-face with the guests and thecustomers. This chain of command in the management of the hotelindustry ensures that the hotel is well controlled and the decisionsto be made are of high standard and all the hierarchy of managementhave accepted. This ensures that hotel industry is in the way ofoperation.

Dueto the overuse of technology makes many hotel guests seem to prefertechnology to a human being, this is because human being areresponsive to the request, and they can provide feedback regardinghuman consciousness. This will give employees the opportunity tofocus on more personalized service, as opposed to the rote tasks. Inthe gymnasium and the spa department, the millennials prefer thehuman being to robots because human being considers important thingslike if one is tired and need some rests, but the robots do notrecognize the human feelings. The hotel industry has ensured thathuman being is the one that provides most activities that requirehuman activities so that guests will ensure that they enjoy to themaximum the services provided to them. Hotel management is mainlyhuman with the minimum help of the machines that are used mainly forthe storage of information, but the human makes the decisionconcerning the hotel management. The hotel management has emphasizedthe use of the self-promotion in the promotion. Most of the featuredimages and tweets are on their websites some of them uses thematerial in their advertising campaigns.

Competitionhas enhanced most hotel industries to give free gifts and discounts.These activities include giving free daily wine tastings on theirbars and lobbies. The free gifts attract people to come because theyenjoy these gives they believe they spend less on the free things.When customers come once they come again thereby ensuring that thehotel will benefit more from them even if is on the long term effect.The hotels are equipped with the CCTV cameras that ensure that thecustomers are well secured as all the activities in the hotelorganization are well monitored by the cameras thereby making surethat the guest is alright in their whole trip or the vacation. Thehotel rooms are equipped with the music system to ensure that theguests in the rooms are not bored in their visit to the hotel. Themusic is of the guest preference for them to fill at home andcomfortable in the hotel. The customers mean a lot to the hotelorganization because without them the hotel industry will be nothingand it will have nobody to serve thereby closure of the industry. Thecustomer is considered to be the king, so the hotel industry valuesthem a lot as they are the one employing them.

Insummary, in the hotel industry due to the stiff competition theindustry has made efforts to curb this competition thereby forced tolook for new strategies that will help them survive in the market.These strategies include the diversification of the activities in thehotel industry by introducing the gymnasium, and the spas willattract customers to the hotel as they will believe and assume thatthey will get all they need in one building instead of them wastingtime moving from one building looking for the same activities. Theindustry has also made sure that the management of the hotel isstrict enough so that the decisions made are of high standard, andthey will have a positive impact on the hotel. The hotel industryhas diverted its attention to the Millennials because the hotelindustry is in the competitive industry thereby they target thosewith many activities that lead to the provision of incomes that makesthem maximize their incomes. The millennials have the interest ofconsuming more on the great activities to them this makes the hotelindustry to diversify more on its activities provided. The use of themobile check-ins and self-service has ensured that the guests havethe easy time in clearing their bills because this saves them timespent in banks withdrawing money to clear their bills. They alsoensure the safety of the customers as the guests are safe of therisks of their money stolen from them. Due to the installment of thenew technology the hotel industry has benefited from the benefit ofefficiency and speed. Things in the industry are done faster, andthey are efficient thereby ensuring that the customers do not wastetime in transacting with the hotel thereby saving time for thecustomers. The introduction of the customer services in the hotelindustry has enhanced response to the customers complain, and theindustry does provide misleading information about the provision ofinformation to the targeted customers.

References

Baloglu,S. (2010). Advancesand trends in hospitality and tourism.[Bingley, UK]: Emerald.

Brody,D. (2009). Latesttrends in the hotel industry.Chandni Chowk, Delhi: Global Media.

Chen,J. (2011). Advancesin hospitality and leisure.Bingley, U.K.: Emerald.

Chen,J. (2012). Advancesin hospitality and leisure.Bingley: Emerald.

Chen,J. (2013). Advancesin Hospitality and Leisure.[Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified].

Conrady,R., &amp Buck, M. (2007). Trendsand issues in global tourism 2007.Berlin: Springer.

Field,S. (2000). Careeropportunities in casinos and casino hotels.New York: Facts on File, Inc.

Pierson,A. (1963). Trendsin lodging enterprises.[New York].

Pet Accommodation Trend in Hotels

PET ACCOMMODATION TREND IN HOTELS 12

PetAccommodation Trend in Hotels

InstitutionAffiliation

PetAccommodation Trend in Hotels

Petshave been and continue being an integral part of many families today. Pets, especially dogs continue to play an ever more vital role inthe lives of families and individuals as companions that breakconventional view of human-animal relationships. Pets have become animportant source of affection, love, and companion for their humancounterparts. According to Carr and Cohen (2009), “dogs have becomea major element of several families.” Carr and Cohen (2009) statethat there are significant psychological and health benefits thathuman beings gain when they spend time with their pets. The benefitshave beenassociatedwith fewer visits that pet owners make to the doctor as compared topeople do not own any pets. Some research has associated petownership with low blood pressure and a reduced risk of gettingstrokes or heart attacks. Besides psychological and health benefits,there are also several social benefits that result from petownership. These animals serve the role of a social facilitator totheir owners. The benefits associated with pet ownership are notone-way, they are experienced by the animals too. Animals experiencea lot of health and psychological benefits forspending enough time with their owners (Carr and Cohen, 2009). The various benefits that pets and pet owners gain from each otherhave been major driving factors towards a trend in the hospitalityindustry that is currently picking up at a very high rate. Morepeople want to holiday with their pets to enjoying the benefits thatthe animals offer them. Traditionally, pets were left behind inkennels or with relatives or friends, but all that is changing as thehospitality industry moves in a direction that allows families andindividuals to bring their pets along when they go for holiday(Carr and Cohen, 2009). This paper will observe and discuss petaccommodation trends in the hospitality industry as a whole withspecific reference to hotels.

Motivationsfor pet accommodation trend

LikeCarr and Cohen (2009) state, people used not to bring their pets withthem when they went onvacation. The view of one enjoying a vacation with their pet on abeach or baskingin the sun wasnever seeneasily. People had to look for ways of keeping their pets alive backat home as they left. The pets had to wait back hopefully for thereturn of their owners so that they can berejoined.Pets are and have always been an integral part of the Americanfamily,and this can bededucedfrom the way people spend on them. The American Pet ProductsManufacturers Association (APPMA) approximates that since the year1994, the amount people spend on pets has more than doubled. Theexpenditure was $7 billion in 1994 and by 2006, it had risen to $38.4billion. The number of pets owned in the United States has reachedthe highest level in this decade. The growth is not happening inAmerica alonethe whole world is experiencing an increase in the number of petsowned. Expenditure on pets is ever increasing,and people move from providing their pets with basic needs toproviding premium products. Pet pampering has become a norm in themodern society. The expenditure in 1994 and 2006 indicated aboveshows that the trend towards spending a lot on pets has not startednow. In 2010, the American Pet Product Association (APPA)approximated that Americans spent $47.7 billion on buying petproducts and services in the year 2010 (FranchiseHelp Holdings LLC,2015). That figure represented an increase of 4.8% from what wasspentin 2009. Expansion of pet ownership since 1998 is 56%, whichrepresents 71.4 million homes. Of all the households that own pets,46% of them own more than one pet. Somehow one pet is never enough.Cats are more than dogs, but out of every three homes either of theanimals can be found (FranchiseHelp Holdings LLC, 2015). Of theamount spent on pets, most of it goes to services such as training,grooming, and boarding. The demand for pet services has growndramatically withina few years,and people are more interested in offering better care to theiranimals. A study indicated that over 83% of all pet specialty storeowners stated that the best method of attracting more expenditurefrom pet owners is by adding more facilities. The same thing goes forhotels and other services in the hospitality industry. In 2006, Mr.Andrew Darmohraj, the deputy managing director and vice president ofAPPMAstated that dog hotels, spas, mobile and in-home grooming services,dog daycare,and grooming services were among the fastest growing and trending petservices (Profile America, Inc., 2006).

Petownership is driven by several demographic factors.According to (FranchiseHelp Holdings LLC), the American population ispredominantly composed of aging people and baby boomers are reachingthe retirement age. Many baby boomers are acquiring pets, especiallyas their children reach the age of joining college and go away.Similarly, as children complete college, they head off to pursuetheir career, which leaves parents lonely and in need of company.Young Americans are also getting married later in life,and the divorce rate is still very high. All in all, there are manysingle families and individuals living alone who need company andpets always seem to be the best option that one can access withlittle trouble. New pets are beingboughtat a rate of about 4% every year (FranchiseHelp Holdings LLC, 2015).

Statisticsin the United States indicate that more than ninety million cats andmore than 74 million dogs are under the ownership of more than eightymillion households in the US. From those numbers, more than 9000kennels are used by approximately thirty million owners. The usage ofkennels isalso apportionedaccording to purpose. Out of all the 9000 kennels or more, 82.2% areused by people going on vacation, 5% when attending for emergencies,and 6.8% when attending to job obligations. From the statistics, itbecomes clear that vacation is the biggest factor that influences theuse of kennels. People buy kennels to use to transport their petswhen they are going for vacation. This is an indication of how bigthe market for pet accommodation is and how fast it is growing in theAmerican society. The American Boarding Kennels Association (ABKA)has observed that most owners of pets are more comfortable withleaving their pets with a professional, full-time service as comparedto leaving them with neighbors, relatives, or friends. Professionalpet services provide a chance for pets to interact with others, inthe same way, kids get a chance to interact with other in daycare orschool. From this statistics, it can be inferred that people shouldthen be more comfortable with bringing their pets along when they goon vacation as compared to leaving them with professional services.For starters, it is much cheaper, convenient, and one gets to enjoyall the benefits they do from their pets when they are at home. Dogshave been approximated to be the most favorite travel companions andglobal statistics on people who bring some kindofpet when they travelindicatesthat dogs make up 78%. Cats come in the second place with a 15%,Fish, rabbit, and ferret comes in the third place with a 3%, whilebirds make the smallest percentage with only 2% (Profile America,Inc., 2006).

Ina study presented in Victorino et al.’s (2005) essay,hotelselection by guests was influenced by three major factors, that is,hotel type, technology, and customizations. Customizations were amajor attraction for people who were going on vacation for leisure orother non-work or non-business related purposes. Sure enough, theseare the people that bring pets with them because their time will bespenton having fun and moving around without any major constraints ontheir schedule. In the customization category, there are certaincustom features that appeal more to guests than others. Victorino etal. (2005) narrowed down the most influential custom features tothree including pet accommodation, child care, and the inclusionof in-room kitchen facilities. This indicates that pet accommodationplays a big role in influencing what hotel one would prefer to spendtheir time at when they are on vacation. According to Foster (2011),people no longer want their pets to stay back at home or under thecare of a professional, full-time pet service when they go onvacation. Most people treat their pets as an integral part of thefamily, and as such, they are worth the same treatment as any othermember of the family. So, when the family goes on a vacation, the petalso goes with them to enjoy a good time. The animal has to enjoy theluxurious digs, five-star amenities,and all the fun. An article written by FranchiseHelp Holdings LLC(2015) indicates that people are willing to spend a lot of money andresources on their pets even during difficult economic times.Somehow, the economic situation in America has very little influenceon how much people are spending on their pets. Several studies havebeen carried out to determine the influence pets have onthechoice of hotel for most people. Some research concluded that morethan 49% of all leisure travelers in the United States usuallyconsider bringing their pets along as part of their family when theygo on vacation. Similarly, about 18% of leisure travelers actuallybring their pets on vacations. These percentages are a clearindication of how important it is that hotels consider providingservices that are friendly to pets. Hotels that offer such servicesare likely to be more attractive to more visitors(tourismworksforus.com, n.d).

Hotelshave always been an integral part of travel. In fact, more than 30%of all travels end up with the people involved spending some time ina hotel. According to Brownrigg (2006), the rise in the number ofhotels or similar facilities that offer accommodation to people beganin the late 1980s. People started staying for indefinite or definiteperiods of time as they continue with their normal lives. Usually,the facilities offer services that the residents cannot afford toreplicate in their homes (Brownrigg, 2006). The annual revenuegenerated from the hotel industry in the US was approximated to be$163 billion in the year 2013. The $163 billion was an increase of 6%from the income that had beengeneratedin 2012 according to a report prepared by the American Hotel &ampLodging Association. The revenues have been on a steady rise sincethe industry started experiencing increased entrance by new playersand the number of people going on vacation increased. Economic growthsince the 1980s has been steady, leading to more people going onvacation. Hence, more money was spent on accommodation. However, theentrance of new players into the hotel industry did not producepositive outcomes all through. There are several disadvantagesassociated with it, especially increased competition. As more firmsentered the market, members of the public had access to similarservices being provided by many different players. This brought inthe issue of substitution of services and products, leading toreduced client loyalty. Guests started looking for an advantage inthe services hotels offer instead of basing the choice of a hotel onmere brand loyalty. How well a hotel organized its services is nolonger the major attraction for leisure travelers, but the featuresof the various services are.As such, hotel managers started devising ways of keeping clientsattracted to their facilities and that is when services such as petaccommodation came up. What started as a simple idea has now become amajor trend in hotels that most players are partly relying on forcompetitive advantage. According to Shields (2015), hotels are beingforced to find new ways of appealing to travelers.

Letme now study what clients demands are in the hospitality industry andhow hotels have responded to them. According to Victorino et al.(2005), customers are always bombarded with the ever-changing serviceand commodity offerings that players in various industries offer,hospitality industry included. Product and service offerings tend tobe getting more diverse and innovative. There are always alternativesto consider and choosefrom.Even with the many alternatives, service providers are alwaysstriving to include as many unique features inorder toattract as many clients as possibleand sure enough, the efforts have always paid off. According toVictorino et al. (2005), hospitality firms such as hotels are amongthe major examples of markets that have benefited enormously fromservice innovation. Lookingat service and product offerings from the point of view of customers,hospitality firms offer several similar services, which can be easilysubstituted or found elsewhere. The possibility of substitutes hasalways caused difficulties for managers in their attempts todifferentiate their hotels from those of competitors. This has oftenled to one solution, which involves offering new and innovativefeatures withinthe same services that all firms offer. The hospitality industry isalso being changed rapidly by the accelerations introduced byinformation technology. Managers have to make quick, proactivechanges, giving more focus to consumers. The needs of clients must bemet.The third challenge emerges from the lackof loyalty on the part of consumers. In the past, clients were alwaysloyal to a given brand,and they could even give excuses for failure by the brands they areloyal to just to continue consuming them. Modern-day consumers go forhotels that offer the best proposition at the lowest price. Hotelmanagers have to overcome all these challenges by determining whatthe needs of guests are and working towards their fulfillment.

Adoptionof pet accommodation in hotels

Today,there are many hotels that allow pets in their facilities as astrategy of attracting guests. Such hotels accept hotels because theyconsider them to be part of the family, and as such, pets aretreatedto top-notch services just like people are. Services such as personalchefs, birthday cakes, pedicures, and massages, which are traditionalmeant for human beings are now commonly offered to pets, especiallydogs while on the road. According to an article on Valhouli (2004),the past few years have seen a lot of effort on the side of hotels tocourt guests with pets. In France for instance, the article statesthat small dogs get treated with similar reverence as the elderlypeople and children. Before hotels realized that pets need to betreatedas parts of families, it used to be very hard to find one that couldadmit pets into their premises. All that has changed andpet-friendliness is the norm in the hotel industry.

Hotelsthat offer pet-friendly services do so in the formof programs that arebackedby offerings for visitors who have pets and for the pets themselves.The programs include several things such as treats, bowls, beds, andspecialized pet messages and service menus. Other hotels include evenmore amenities to make the package soundeven better to the travelers. Some hotels have conducted research onthe behavior of pet owners before introducing pet programs. Forinstance, Starwood Hotels and Resorts commissioned a study on thehabits of more than 400 owners of dogs. The findings of the studyindicated that a whole 76% of the pet owners studied said they wouldremain loyal toahotel chain that accepts dogs, even when they did not travel withtheir pets. Another 82% of the population under study indicated thatthey did not believe that most high-end hotels allowed dogs ontheir premisesand another 48% believed that even if hotels allowed pets into theirfacilities, they did so reluctantly. The study further indicated thatanother 16% of all pet owners admitted to smuggling their dogs intohotels that disallowed dogs in the facility. The study indicated toStarwood Hotels and Resorts that there was a huge market of guestswho owned pets whose needs were not beingmet(Valhouli, 2004).

Whenthe idea of accommodating pets came around, the first hotels toembrace it onlyoffered basic services such as personalized ID tags, water bowls,bandanas, and food. This is what most pet-friendly hotels offer totheir guests. However, those that embrace the idea fullytake the entire experience to a whole new level. Instead ofrestricting service to daytime, they offer accommodation, so that theowner can have their animals around if they decide to stay for thenight. There is a huge number of hotels that is currently offeringthese services. The services arenot only restrictedto huge hotel chains, but smaller hotels are also actively involvedin the provision of pet accommodation. Premium services are takingover basic from basic services, making it characteristic to findproducts such as pet massages, room-service menus, free range roastedchicken, steamed rice, and Angusbeef. It is even hard to differentiate between food meant for peoplefrom that meant for the pets. The Golden Door Spa at Wyndham takesthe service even further with the “doggie spa” program. Theprogram isestablishedona 42000-square-foot complex and comprises of a conglomerate ofservices. Pets can sign up for teeth cleaning, grooming, pawdicures,and massage. According to the director of the spa, Helen Brown, thespa was solely opened in response to the needs of customers. Thedirector goes ahead to say that the facility is “pet-friendly tothe extreme (Newswire, 2013).”

Pet-friendlinesstrend is taking on a more extreme turn as the services offered toanimals continues to get more complex and human-like. What someluxury hotels offer to pets cannot even be found in some moderatelyfurnished hotels and are not available to children even in thehigh-end hotels. Weight has been a major restriction in the past, buteven that is beingwipedout as the restrictions are stripped off. The rooms pets occupy aregetting bigger by the day as the animals aregivenmore command over thespacethey occupy. Today, there are rooms in which the pets can be leftalone to roam and do whatever they want. According to Valhouli(2004), pets are receiving treatment that is equivalent to thefinancial status of their owners. Well-groomed pets of well-groomedowners receive kingly treatment in posh resorts. At Grove Isle Resortand Club, there is a weekly program called,“Doggie Happy Hour,” where pets are treated more like humanbeings. Similarly, at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills, dogs are givenhuman treatment that involves being taken out for walks by staffmembers that wear white gloves, doggie beds, and personalized towels.A study conducted carried out by AH&ampLA in the year 2012, thenumber of hotels that allow guests to bring pets hit a record high.By 2012, about 61% of all hotels in the United States were allowingguests to come with pets. That was an increase of 9% up from the 51%that wasrecordedin the year 2010. The number has continued to rise and inferring fromthe trend,it is likely that more hotels will become pet-friendly and possiblythe practice will later be adopted by the entire hotel industry(Newswire, 2013).

Thereis a great shift from the sizeand weight limitations that only got disclosed at the time the guestwas at the reception desk, causing a lot of inconveniences.Today, it is not only just about offering pet-friendly services itis about creating opportune activities that pet owners can enjoy withtheir animals. Policies governing pets at hotels have grown betterand more straightforwardto eliminate confusion. Hotels that offer pet-friendly services andproducts have shifted towards the use of websites and social media toinform their guests about what to expect when they visit thefacilities. Sources of confusion due to a lack of information, whichcharacterized prior years are being phased off. Technology is playinga bigger role in ensuring pet-friendliness in hotels (Newswire,2013).

Conclusion

Inconclusion, pet accommodation is continuing to pick up as more firmsin the hotel industry continue to introduce programs for pets.

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