First pet lounge launched at Shenzhen airport

By ZHOU MO in Shenzhen | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-14 08:59
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Workers look after a dog at the pet lounge at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport in Guangdong province. CHINA DAILY

Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport has opened China's first special lounge for pets, as their growing number in the city has created a large demand for related travel accommodations.

The 210-square-meter lounge is equipped with a comprehensive system that can provide 24-hour monitoring of temperature, humidity, PM2.5 and PM10 levels, and ammonia, and is able to provide early warnings.

Each pet is provided with a separate space, and services like security checks and boarding, regular inspection, feeding and free foster care due to flight delays are offered.

A pet entertainment space has also been set up.

"Pets are often treated as 'live cargo' in air transport, but the 'furry children' have already become members of many families," said Zhou Jie, general manager of Shenzhen Airport Domestic Cargo Terminal.

"The establishment of the pet lounge has changed the mode of mixed transport of pets and air cargo in the past. Based on the digital platform and internet of things technology, a remote medical diagnosis system and epidemic prevention measures have been introduced to provide pets with foster care, nursing and other services to ensure their safety and comfort."

The size of the Chinese pet economy hit 592 billion yuan ($81.9 billion) last year, increasing 20.1 percent year-on-year, data from market intelligence firm iiMedia Research showed. The market is expected to expand to 811 billion yuan by 2025.

In Shenzhen, the number of pet dogs and cats exceeds 500,000, with people in their early 40s and younger the main group of pet owners, according to the China Development Institute, a Shenzhen-based think tank.

As the pet economy continues to grow, Shenzhen has unveiled measures to build itself into a pet-friendly city.

Last month, it opened a special bus route, enabling pets to take the bus with their owners for the first time.

More than 50 shopping malls and over 1,000 restaurants in Shenzhen welcome pets, while more than 10 parks tailored for pets have been opened.

"I have to highly praise the pet-friendly move by the Shenzhen airport," said a woman surnamed Liu, who was one of the first people to use the new service. "The pet lounge makes me feel reassured about my pet traveling.

"Through the services, I feel that Shenzhen is a city filled with humane care."

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