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According to Parade Magazine, this year over 10 million Americans will choose to bring their pets along on their vacation. They will spend their vacation dollars preferentially in dog-friendly destinations. Many Web sites and books are devoted to the burgeoning industry of pet-friendly tourism which is catering to these travelers. However, in none of these is Ithaca mentioned as a particularly pet-friendly destination.
Ithaca4Dogs.com aims to raise the visibility of Ithaca's attractions for people vacationing with their dogs, for the reasons outlined below. We need your help to make Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region a national leader in dog-based tourism.
Ithaca Area Business Survey
Please answer the following four questions:
If this form seems not to be functioning correctly, please email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ithaca Area Dog-Owner Survey
Please answer the following three questions:
Why do we think dog-based tourism is a good fit for Ithaca?
First, the economics. According to figures recently released by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), the spending on pets in the United States came to about $32.4 billion -- 60% more than the toy industry ($20 billion) and 33% more than the candy industry ($24 billion). While other sectors have languished, pet spending has doubled in the last decade, and estimates are that it will grow another 5.9% in 2004.
Currently, there are about 52 million dogs living in 35 million US households. The Pet Owner Survey of the American Animal Hospital Association indicates that more than two-thirds of pet owners intend 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.
Second, Ithaca has the assets for dog-based tourism. With its spectacular landscape and easy-going lifestyle, Ithaca is a great place to walk or run -- for humans and dogs alike.
Third, by making Ithaca a more dog-friendly destination, we make it a better place to live. Countless studies have shown that pets are good for both physical and mental health. For current residents as well as prospective newcomers, a dog-friendly environment is a signficant factor in quality of life.
Please share your ideas as to how we can make Ithaca a better place for dogs and their people.