(NC) Tourism services in Florida, and indeed all across North America are learning to accommodate the ever-growing petmania.
Pop-up, transportable pet houses are hot. At first-rate hotels, doggie meals can be ordered on room service menus. Specialized pooch-music calms Fido in the car - and in wacky Key West, those who wish to flaunt their mutual animal magnetism are encouraged to enter a year-end parade, as a pet-and-person duo.
Currently, 53 percent of travellers bring a pet, according to a recent TripAdvisor survey of more than 1,100 participants. The same survey revealed that 35 percent of pet owners admit to taking shorter vacations - and 25 percent travel less because they don't want to leave their little pals behind.
Indeed, some won't. A good 7 percent of the survey respondents said they travel only to destinations where they know they can bring their pets. For helpful information on this topic go to www.petego.com. For pet-friendly hotels, here's a snapshot of enticing offers:
The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club (half way between Miami and Fort Lauderdale) welcomes your four-legged friends with customized amenities, such as personalized card, a fluffy bed, favourite treats and a pooch-pouch of dining options. For example, if ordered in advance, your dog will be treated to organic scrambled eggs, or a rice and vegetable dish, or a beef burger with American cheese. The cat menu includes poached chicken breast, tiger shrimp, and steamed local fish. Guidelines and fees apply.
At the Belleview Biltmore Resort & Spa, guests are invited to experience the Pampered Pooch Services Package. For you, it consists of a manicure, facial, and pedicure. For your little companion, it includes a manicure, shampoo, and style. This will allow your pooch put his or her best foot forward for paw painting and nail art.
Walt Disney World is building a full-service, luxury pet resort for a scheduled opening in 2009. Partnering with Best Friends Pet Care Inc. this facility will include luxury suites, nature walks, playgroups, ice cream treats and even bedtime stories.