There are many animal activist groups and they are having a significant impact on what is available or not available through the world’s largest booking sites. Last fall, TripAdvisor announced its commitment to launch a set of industry-leading actions, including changes to its policy on selling tickets to animal attractions, and the launch of a new education portal to help inform travelers about the standards of care for wild, captive, and endangered species in tourism and their interactions with tourists, and their impact on wildlife conservation. TripAdvisor and its Viator brand have discontinued selling tickets for specific tourism experiences where travelers come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species, including but not limited to elephant rides, petting tigers, and swim with dolphin attractions.
Just this week, Expedia, Inc. announced that activities involving certain wildlife animal interactions will no longer be bookable on its online travel sites. Relying on guidance from industry-leading wildlife and animal protection groups, Expedia will undertake a thorough review over the next few months and will remove activities from its websites and other distribution channels. The announcement also comes with the launch of a new initiative committing the company to improving education for travelers about animal welfare. Launching later this year, travelers searching for animal-related activities will be presented with detailed information about specific activities offered through Expedia on a new Wildlife Tourism Education Portal.
Working in concert with globally renowned and respected zoo, anti-animal trafficking and animal protection groups such as The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, Born Free Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International, Expedia is determined to put animal welfare and standards of care for animals involved in these wildlife activities at the forefront of the travel planning discussion.
Of course it was earlier this year that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced that it would no longer produce its traveling show that included the participation of elephants, tigers and other animals.