TripAdvisor has decided to stop selling tickets for elephant rides, tiger-petting sessions and dolphin swims over concerns for the welfare of the animals. In addition, it plans to launch an online portal aimed at educating travelers about how to make choices about their trips with wildlife conservation in mind.
The company and its Viator brand announced Wednesday that it “will no longer sell tickets to hundreds of attractions where travelers come into contact with wild animals or endangered species held in captivity.”
The company made the move after hearing from animal groups and organizations, spokesman Troy Livingston wrote in an email.
Activities such as horseback riding, children’s petting zoos, aquarium touch pools (under supervision of a zoo, aquarium, etc.) and volunteering excursions involving animals are exempt. The policy and the new portal is expected to go into effect by early next year.
TripAdvisor attractions that involve animals will be identified with a “paw” icon that will link to information about animal welfare issues from groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Assn. of Zoos & Aquariums and Sustainable Travel International.