The Isles Of Dogs? Calls To Promote Scilly As Pet Lovers’ Heaven

dog show 2013Scilly is “massively under-marketed” as a destination for Britain’s 10 million dog-owners.

That’s the view of Transport Committee Vice Chairman Steve Sims.

Steve told Tuesday’s meeting that the islands are the most exotic destination most people could visit easily with their pet.

And there are a lot of pet owners who could potentially visit.

Cllr James Francis backed the idea and suggested it could be a promotion for the Islands’ Partnership.

But their manager Amanda Pender says only Hell Bay Hotel took up a promotion to pet-owners on the Visit Cornwall’s ‘Dogs Love Cornwall’ online campaign last year.

The Partnership hopes to add dog-owner tips for travel and details of dog-friendly beaches on their website in the future.

Amanda says Pam Manning’s pet equipment rental service, Creature Comforts, could also be featured.

The IP has commissioned pictures of dogs for future promotions and some will feature in next year’s brochure.

And some people in the accommodation sector feel the pet promotion idea has legs.

Carina Luscombe first allowed dogs in Tregarthen’s Hotel two years ago. Bookings from pet owners are increasing and she’s going to highlight the service next season on her website.

She says visitors have found the islands to be a good place to bring their animals. One guest, who writes for a dog owners’ magazine, was so pleased that she could bring her pet that she’s going to promote Scilly to her readers.

Carina feels it would be worthwhile marketing Scilly to this sector.

Fiona Martin has regular bookings from guests with pets at Garrison House and she says it offers an additional market for her business. But Fiona says she has added facilities, like a place to dry dogs.

She cautions that not all accommodation is suitable and not all islanders are dog friendly.

The Scillonian III offered a ‘dogs-go-free’ option this year, but councillors heard that will end in 2014.

Steamship Company Chief Executive Jeff Marston says many dog owners used the service and they need to control it, so a £5 fee will be in place for next year.

But he says that’s still cheaper than the 2012 charge of £12.50.

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