VISITSCOTLAND is urging businesses to maximise their potential by opening their doors to pets.
Almost a third of holidaymakers base their entire holiday around how suitable the destination would be for their pet with 72 per cent of dog owners stating that they would holiday in the UK more often is there was a better attitude towards dogs.
The new report by the tourism organisation aims to highlight way in which businesses can improve the visitor economy by making destinations more accessible to pets.
Research also found that holidaymakers with pets spend an extra £126 compared to those without, while over two thirds consider their dogs as family members when booking holidays.
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The pet market has seen markable growth in recent years and is now worth over £4 billion.
An estimated 12 million households in the UK own pets, including 8.5 million dogs, making the benefits of expanding pet offerings to domestic visitors hugely significant.
An analysis of searches on visitscotland.com found that there was 95 per cent more interest in pet related searches compared to those for romantic holidays.
The release of the trends paper comes after the launch of VisitScotland’s search for ‘Ambassadog’ to give their ‘paw of approval’ on journeys across Scotland.
The search will look for the perfect four-legged friend to follow in their owner’s footsteps and take in everything Scotland has to offer while documenting it on social media.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland is the perfect destination for pet owners with our beautiful, spacious parks and award winning beaches providing an excellent environment for furry friends.
“Pet tourism has the possibility to be worth millions to Scotland’s visitor economy and this latest paper offers some great tips for businesses on how to become more pet friendly, unlocking the potential of this lucrative market.“