Good money in holidays with pets

NOTHING TO BARK AT: Graham Chandler, on holidays from Maidenwell, with Crumpet at Horizons Resort in Peregian which welcomes guests with dogs.
NOTHING TO BARK AT: Graham Chandler, on holidays from Maidenwell, with Crumpet at Horizons Resort in Peregian which welcomes guests with dogs. Geoff Potter

THERE are plenty of dog day afternoons, mornings and nights at one canine-canny beach stay.

And allowing the likes of poodles under their roof is making the dogs lovers at Horizons of Peregian oodles of tourist dollars.

Horizons has nine of its 14 rented-out four-and-a-half star apartments available to people staying with dogs, and manager Rod Stringer reckons the owners are barking up the right money tree with a significant upswing in rentals from people who can't bear to part with their pooches.

Mr Stringer said the tourist apartments decided to become pet friendly more than three years ago in a low-key way, allowing one dog per apartment provided these holidaying hounds weighed no more than 10 to 12kgs.

And with the debate about dogs in cafes raging throughout Noosa, and Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot urging the tourism industry to throw its doors open to four-legged guests, it is worth noting that since Horizons gained some publicity for its dog stays, business in the quieter winter months has taken off.

Mr Stringer said there was a 20% surge in interest that has kept Horizons at around 70% occupied.

"Of that figure I would say 10 to 15% has been from people with dogs," Mr Stringer said.

"A lot of them are empty- nesters who just will not go anywhere without their dog, who is like another member of the family to them.

"And we have interest from young families who want to come away and bring their dog."

As to the compatibility of canines mixing with guests that are in the dogless units, Mr Stringer said there were not too many problems at all.

"On occasions there may be a dog barking a little too much and sometimes we have had to ask people not to leave their dogs when they go out as we are not dog minders."

But these are the exceptions, and dogs and owners can find blissful times a short stroll away on the beach where there is a 4km stretch of dog exercise area.

This is part of Horizons' selling points on its website, as well as mention of the Peregian Village shops and cafes where dogs may wander, but not too close to outdoor dining areas.

Mr Stringer said the village square was ideal for dogs and people to unwind.

Topics:  holidays pets

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