According to the American Pet Products Association’s latest industry statistics, some 62% of American households own a pet. Pet owners spend countless dollars each year to pamper and protect their beloved pets doling out a staggering $43.2 billion in 2008. There’s food, vet care, grooming, boarding, toys, treats and… airline tickets?
Get this. Fido and friends can now fly first class on PetAirways, the world’s first pet-only airline. Cats, dogs, lizards, rabbits, turtles, and any other domesticated pet can fly the friendly skies with PetAirways. The only animal denied access to the airline? Humans.
That’s right, humans other than the PetAirways pilots and flight attendants are not allowed on the planes. It may seem extreme to some but where there’s demand, there’s business opportunity. Not every pet owner in America travels with their pet. However, the niche audience that does demands comfort and safety not offered in traditional cargo hold air travel for animals. And so the opportunity for PetAirways arose.
I’d be willing to bet that people who travel with their pets are also on the internet searching for “pet friendly hotels”, “hotels that allow pets”, “dog friendly hotels”, and the like. In fact, research shows that tens of thousands of people search online for those keywords each month. If your hotel offers these services, does your website say so? Are your pages optimized with these targeted keywords to attract the pet-friendly travelers to book a room with your hotel? If not, you’re missing out on potential bookings.
The point here is not to start catering to the flying pet phenomenon or to create an entirely new business. Instead, try taking a look at your current business, product, or service and determine the niche markets that may be looking for you. Are you making it easy for them to find you? If not, consider applying an aggressive SEO strategy (or adjusting your current strategy) targeting long tail keywords for specific markets.
Keep up with travel industry trends, see where you can be the answer to new market demands, and take action. Simply having “pet friendly hotel rooms” won’t get the owners these flying felines to book rooms at your property. You have to get them to you first, and one way to do this is with SEO.