We recently updated our “Where to Stay” section with a list of nearly 30 hotels and inns in central Arkansas that gladly welcome well-behaved dogs. If you’re like us and love to take road trips with your dog, we encourage you to show them some love, and give one of the places on our list your business.
People vacationing with their pets is becoming one of the hottest trends in the travel industry. In fact, a July 2012 survey co-sponsored by AAA and Best Western hotels found that a full 51 percent of travelers with pets say they would bring their pets along on every vacation if they could. One of the main considerations of those travelers…? Ninety-five percent indicated finding places that accept pets was their top priority.
Additionally, according to a 2012 survey regarding summer travel conducted by PetRelocation.com, a whopping 85 percent of those surveyed said they planned to bring their dogs along when they hit the road in 2012, compared to 58 percent of respondents in 2011. Noticing a bit of a trend?
Forty percent of those same folks said that when it comes to prohibitive factors regarding travel with their dogs, number one on the list is that there aren’t enough pet-friendly hotels to choose from.
So, it’s somewhat disheartening to discover that Little Rock’s major tourist area, the River Market District, has a distinct lack of hotels that allow dogs.
The Peabody, which used to be very dog friendly (and was our hotel of choice when we came to visit from Atlanta), has been purchased by Marriott. Unfortunately, beginning May 1 they will no longer allow pets to stay with their people. The only hotel in the River Market District that will permit dogs, as far as we can determine from our legwork, will be the Residence Inn Little Rock Downtown, scheduled to open in June. The fact that Residence Inn is also owned by Marriott is somewhat perplexing.
Frankly, we’d be willing to lay down a pretty hefty wager that irresponsible humans damage hotels more frequently and more extensively than dogs do. And, with prime tourist season on the way, we’re going to do everything we can to encourage our local hotels to reconsider their pet policies.