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Dog-Based Tourism Initiative

Rationale To put it simply, millions of dog-owners want to travel with their dogs. They will spend their vacation dollars preferentially in dog-friendly destinations.

According to an article in Anthrozoos by Gary Patronek of Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine and Andrew Rowan of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, there are about 52 million dogs living in 35 million US households. The Pet Owner Survey of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) indicates that more than two-thirds of pet owners intended to travel with their pets during the coming year. Any way you slice those figures, it is clear that dog-based tourism represents a significant economic opportunity.

Strategy

  1. Assemble pertinent information about Ithaca as a dog-friendly place to visit; make that information available to the public, first as a Web site, subsequently in a brochure. Information should include:

    • accommodations: hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, camping grounds, and other facilities that accept dogs
    • restaurants with outdoor eating space where dogs are permitted
    • hiking trails and other dog-friendly recreational facilities
    • services: veterinarians, pet supply shops, groomers
    • events
    • online and offline resources: lists of publications, information offices, and Web sites with to broader information about tourism (and life in general) in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region; links to Web sites about traveling with dogs.

  2. Form a coalition of dog-owners, owners of dog-based businesses, and other concerned citizens to formulate a Dog-Based Tourism Initiative. Likely concerns:
    • promoting and facilitating poop-scooping (e.g. by installing and maintaining bag-dispensers such as the one currently maintained by Wegman's at Treman Marina
    • persuading more hotels to accept dogs
    • promoting dog access to public places (e.g. The Commons) and public transportation
    • organizing dog-focused events (e.g. Ithaca Dog Days)
    • raising the profile of local dog organizations (training programs, rescue associations, research centers, etc.)
    • promoting off-leash recreational facilities (e.g. at Treman Marina; also, off-leash hours and/or days at city parks and on campuses

  3. Petition Common Council to pass a resolution declaring Ithaca a Dog-Friendly Destination, and requesting that all organizations, businesses, and citizens consider what they can do to contribute to a dog-friendly environment.

  4. Hold a national conference on Planning for a Dog-Friendly Community.

Please Join Us! Contact: info@ithaca4dogs.com


Information Pertinent to Dog-Based Tourism

More Info
The "Dog eat Dog World" is No More. Now it's a Dog eat Hors D'oeuvre World. From Krista Mifflin, Your Guide to Dogs.
The pet market, or more specifically, the dog market is ranked number three on the top ten business ventures for the year 2003, and as more and more dog owners are assimilated into the fold of "dog people", things will only get better business-wise. About.com has a page entitled "Why the Pet Business is Booming," with many links.


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