Tripadvisor’s Commitment To Wildlife Welfare
Tripadvisor the largest travel site in the world, with more than 60 million members and over 170 million reviews and opinions of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related businesses has announced its commitment to improve wildlife welfare standards by making changes to its policy on selling tickets to animal attractions, and launching of a new education portal on wildlife conservation.
The travel website and its Viator brand will stop the sale of tickets for specific tours involving travelers coming into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species.
While some attractions will be stopped booking through TripAdvisor immediately, the company has planned to have both the educational portal and booking policy changes fully-launched and implemented by early 2017.
The new education portal, to which Existing animal attraction listings will be linked to, will provide information on animal welfare practices, supported by expert viewpoints including those from Global Wildlife Conservation, ABTA, The Travel Association, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU).
Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said “TripAdvisor’s leadership position in travel means we can help educate millions of travelers about the diverse opinions that exist on matters of animal welfare,” said Stephen Kaufer, president and CEO of TripAdvisor.
“We believe the end result of our efforts will be enabling travelers to make more thoughtful choices about whether to visit an animal attraction and to write more meaningful reviews about those attractions.”
“By refusing to sell tickets to businesses that treat animals as entertainment or playthings, TripAdvisor is making a precedent-setting statement about the use and abuse of animals for entertainment.”
Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA also encouraged TripAdvisor’s’ actions by stating that “It is extremely encouraging to see the ‘world’s largest travel site’ taking the lead on this issue.’’
Tripadvisors’ actions have applauded by UNWTO, wildlife conservation organizations and travel trade associations.