Northumberland dog-friendly staycation company scoops two national awards

A Northumberland dog-friendly staycation company has vowed to ‘keep pushing’ after winning two national awards.

Paws Holidays, which is based in Wooler, believes it is helping the UK holiday and hospitality industry recover from the pandemic as it recommends resorts and destinations where families can take breaks with their pooches.

Its platform shows properties where holiday-makers can take their furry friends across the UK, encompassing all sorts of accommodation types including hotels, holiday parks, camping and glamping, and motorhomes.

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Paws Holidays has built up a network of more than 250 pet-friendly properties since being established in 2018, and has been awarded the Best Online Pet-Friendly Holidays Platform in the UK at the Pet Product & Services 2021 awards. It was scooped an award at the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards 2021/22.

Sarah Ferguson, Paws Holidays’ Business Development Manager, who founded the company alongside Karen Bishop, said: “We were really ecstatic to win these awards. We’re a little business in Wooler and we’re getting phone calls from people who want to work with us all over the country, and I think that’s because we’re a smaller business and we’re not seen as wanting to take over the world.”

Despite being seen as a smaller business, being based in a small, remote village in the Northumberland hills means that other businesses may underestimate the drive and determination of Paws Holidays.

Sarah said: “Because Wooler is a smaller area, a business coming out of a rural village is seen to be small in the big market. So, we’ve got to keep pushing and pushing on all of the social media platforms. We also have to be present at every show going out there, so we’re not seen as a small business.”

When starting the company three years ago, Sarah and Karen could not have predicted the boom in pet-friendly staycations in the UK. However, in April 2021 it was estimated that 3.2 million households in the UK had taken on a new pet to keep them company during lockdowns, with many of those not wanting to leave their pet in kennels during the break.

“We knew it was going to be a hard market to get into but we’ve just pushed our way through and we’ve not been scared of any of the competition. We’ve been quite resilient against the pandemic, hence the awards. We just plan to keep pushing our way through and trying to be the number one go-to pet friendly platform.”

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