China News Service, Chengdu, February 13 (Reporter Yue Yitong) Ms. Ge, a "post-90s" Chengdu citizen, boarded the bus with her pet "Xiaofu" and sat down skillfully, waiting for departure. This Springer Spaniel, less than 1 year old, is traveling with its owner in a group for the 11th time. The destination of this trip is Deng Shenggou Scenic Area in Aba Prefecture, Sichuan. "I signed up for two pet tour groups during the Spring Festival holiday this year. I really enjoyed traveling with my dogs and keeping each other company." Ms. Ge said with a smile.

Photos of the pet dog "Xiaofu"'s journey. (Photo provided by interviewee)

  The “it economy” has become popular in China in recent years. According to the "2023-2024 China Pet Industry White Paper (Consumption Report)", the scale of China's urban pet (dog and cat) consumer market will reach 279.3 billion yuan (RMB, the same below) in 2023. Pet tour groups are a new segment derived from the "it economy" hand in hand with the tourism industry.

  In the New Year of the Year of the Dragon, many pet lovers join the group with their pets to experience "poetry and distance". The reporter searched major social platforms and found that there are pet tour groups in Chengdu, Shanghai, Taiyuan, Guangzhou, Beijing, Chongqing, Shenyang and other cities. The Spring Festival travel destinations include forests, seasides, mountains, deserts, etc. Depending on the route and duration, the "shit shovel officer" can easily take the "hairy kid" on a group tour at a cost ranging from a few hundred yuan to a few thousand yuan.

The pet tour group entered the aquarium. (Photo courtesy of Chengdu Aizai Pet Travel Group)

  “All the tour groups were fully booked before the Chinese New Year.” Mao Ji, the person in charge of the Chengdu Aizai Pet Tour Group, said that the tour group has about 10 groups in total. In addition to tours within Sichuan Province, there are also trips to Dali, Yunnan Province. In order to ensure a smooth trip, each route has been checked in advance by the staff, and all aspects of transportation, catering, accommodation, etc. have been implemented in advance.

  In addition to the Spring Festival trip, Chengdu girl Yingying has taken her pet dog "Chaochao" on three group trips. "The puppies had a lot of fun, and I also met a lot of new friends, and the group photographer also left wonderful memories for everyone." Yingying told reporters that group tours are convenient, fun, and can promote social interaction. "The experience is very good".

Take photos of Yingying and her pet dog "Chachao" on their journey. (Photo provided by interviewee)

  Mao Ji, who has been in the industry for more than four years, is optimistic about the development prospects of the industry. He revealed that the team's revenue has grown by about 20% every year. With more and more peers, enriching routes, innovative event planning, and strengthening services are the keys to improving core competitiveness. "In the past two years, it has been obvious that there are more and more pet-friendly hotels and restaurants." Mao Ji observed that more businesses in related industries have begun to embrace the opportunities brought by the popularity of pet tour groups.

  Ms. Zhou, who runs a B&B in Kangding, Sichuan, said in a telephone interview with a reporter that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of consumers inquiring about whether they can bring their pets into the hotel. Therefore, her B&B started accepting pets in addition to a cleaning fee deposit in May last year. Customers bring pets. "At present, it seems that the source of tourists has indeed been broadened. During the Spring Festival this year, we received a pet tour group from Guizhou, with 17 people and 8 dogs."

  According to Zhu Yuke, a professor at the Western China Economic Research Institute at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics and secretary-general of the Sichuan Provincial Consumer Consumption Research Association, as the Chinese people’s consumption continues to improve and upgrade, pet-raising life is also promoted to be refined, and traveling with pets during the Spring Festival is very popular. Behind the scenes, pets are endowed with a more affectionate simulacrum.

  Zhu Yuke said that at present, many key aspects of pet travel in China still need to be improved and optimized, such as transportation and accommodation, including insufficient supply of pet-friendly spaces, facilities and services, restrictions on access to scenic spots, and pet-friendly standards and management systems that need to be improved. . She suggested making full use of digital technology to empower the development of the pet economy, improve the convenience of pet travel services, further promote the diversification of products and services, and improve industry standards and regulations. (over)