Record numbers going on holiday, both here in the UK and abroad, is leading to rising demand for home sitting services.
In May, Tui said it expects summer bookings to “almost reach” pre-pandemic levels, amid a surge in bookings over the past six weeks. In the past three months, 1.9 million customers flew with Tui – an increase of 1.7 million compared with the same period in 2021[i].
In the UK, online travel booking system RateHawk.com reports a similar picture. The firm said the first quarter of this year saw record growth with booking value up 2.6 times the same quarter last year[ii].
Ben Irvine, Director of Business Operations at Homesitters Ltd says, “After two summers where people were unable to travel as freely as they can today, or not wanting to because of worries over Covid-19, demand has picked up hugely for our services.
“We’re seeing many enquiries and bookings from people who bought pets during the pandemic, who have never used a pet sitting company and want to have someone come into their home to take care of them when they are away.”
Ben says, “Dogs and cats like routine and most don’t like to be taken away from their home and put into an unfamiliar environment. Those bought during the pandemic won’t have had chance to experience going to a kennel or cattery as most were closed, so having them looked after at home is a big plus and makes it less stressful for the pet and the owner leaving them.
“Other benefits include having the home occupied, so it is aired and lived in. Also, if someone has several pets it can be a cost-effective option. With the next few months extremely busy we recommend people book their homesitter as soon as possible, giving them one less thing to worry about in the run up to their holiday.”
Homesitters Ltd are different to many other pet sitting agencies because all their homesitters are employed by them, they are fully vetted and insured, plus the company provides 24/7 back up support for homesitters on assignment. Clients also meet their homesitter before the assignment takes place.
Kate and Ian Craig, book publishers from Dumfriesshire in Scotland, have been using Homesitters for 18 years.
Kate explains, “One of the things that encouraged us to use them is that they offer preliminary visits from the home and pet sitter. We find it reassuring to meet the people who will be staying in our home ahead of the booking so we can check that they like our animals and are happy with the set up here.
“Both Ian and I work from home, so our dog is used to company all day. I wouldn’t want to put her in a kennel, I’d much rather she was able to stay at home and have company. We live in a rural location and like knowing that the house is occupied while we’re away for security reasons too. We have a big garden and greenhouse, so having someone to water all of our plants, especially in the summer is a huge bonus.”
“The homesitters have all been fantastic; they are obviously selected really well. The best thing is that they’re great with the animals, so we can rely on them to look after our pets. It gives us real peace of mind to know we can leave our home in their capable hands.”
For more information on Homesitters Ltd visit: www.homesitters.co.uk