Going to the Dogs - Sunshine Coast aims to be Tourism pet Mecca

AN31-5-TSM Rep-DogSunshine Coast Destination Ltd, in an ambitious plan to make the region the pet-friendly tourism capital of Queensland, hopes to lure more tourists - and their dogs - to its beaches, saying the niche market is worth millions of extra dollars to the region.

Already almost 180 places on the Sunshine Coast promote themselves as pet-friendly.

Accommodation providers around Noosa and Peregian and those in the hinterland are already tapping into the pooch potential.

SCD communications manager Karen Doane said the tourism body would be getting the message out through pet-friendly websites, publications and social media. SCD also hopes to enlist TV's most famous vet, Dr Harry from Better Homes and Gardens, to promote our pet credentials.

Recent surveys have shown one in five tourists would bring their dog or cat with them if they had a pet-friendly place to stay. The operators say their business has surged since they advertised the fact that they allowed dogs.

SCD said the market was huge. The typical visitor had an average annual household income of $50,000 to $99,999. People allowed to bring their pets are likely to stay longer on the Coast and spend the money they would have otherwise forked out on dog kennels.