A campaign to attract more dog owners – and their dogs – to come as tourists to Penarth and the Vale of Glamorgan is to be launched next month by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
People who are sensitive to puns should look away now: the scheme has been named “Paws in the Vale”.
The Vale Council’s Senior Regeneration Officer Carol Adams has been outlining the scheme to the Vale ‘Local Access Forum’ – a body that advises the council on improving public access to local land for “open-air recreation and enjoyment”.
The idea of the pilot was to test the concept of “dog-friendly tourism” – examining the possible benefits of such a scheme ….and the potential pitfalls.
On the plus side it is claimed that :-
- there is a reported “growing trend towards becoming dog friendly”
- the Vale of Glamorgan Council says UK pet industry is worth more than £23,700,000,000 (£23.7 billion) a year .[PDN Note: The source of this figure is not cited by the report]
- Since 2011, pet friendly bookings have risen by 132%
- Dog owners are prepared to pay a premium for “pet friendly” accommodation
On the minus side, however, some problem areas were identified including:-
- Dog excrement “not being disposed of properly and / or ruining crops”
- Livestock being “attacked or killed by dogs”
- “Dogs being shot” – if they worried livestock
- Dog-walkers being “injured by cattle”
- Dogs and owners “falling off cliffs”.
The pilot scheme is seeking to establish whether these negative aspects can be “mitigated” – so that dog-owning tourists won’t be unduly deterred from visiting the Vale .
A Countryside Dog Walking Code is now available and a Code of Conduct for both residents and tourists is being developed to “encourage responsible dog-friendly tourism”. The “dog-friendly marketing campaign” is being launched next month,