TripAdvisor have begun to take steps to end animal exploitation in the tourism industry, with the travel and review site no longer selling tickets to locations that allow people to have contact with wild animals.
It is being deemed as the ‘no touching policy’, that ends the sale of tickets to tourist attractions that involve handling captive, wild or endangered animals. The policy covers both land and marine animals, with elephant rides, petting tigers and swimming with dolphins being excluded from the attractions they previously promoted.
TripAdvisor have been working on their animal welfare program to change the way that animals are treated in the tourism industry. The two key areas that they were working on involved raising the travel community’s awareness of animal welfare concerns and to encourage suppliers to change their practices.
To expand on this further, they decided to change their policy on selling tickets to animal attractions. In a statement, TripAdvisor write: “We banned from sale hundreds of tours and experiences in which guests were encouraged to come into physical contact with wild or endangered animals.
“We did this based upon compelling evidence that many of these experiences are harmful to the animals they involve.”
Some attractions are still being offered where animals have “the freedom to disengage from physical contact whenever they wish. Any experiences that doesn’t allow animals this freedom won’t be eligible for sale on TripAdvisor.”
In addition, TripAdvisor will not be selling tickets to wild animal shows. In the statement, it reads: “The other important change we have made is to clarify our stance on the use of wild animals in shows and performances. Many shows don’t encourage physical contact between the performing animals and the audience, but even so, there are still some behaviours that animals may be forced to display which are potentially harmful to their welfare.
“So our policy now makes it clear that TripAdvisor is not prepared to sell tickets for any show or performance where captive wild or endangered animals are forced to perform demeaning tricks or other unnatural behaviours, or where they are featured as part of a live circus or stage entertainment act in a demeaning manner.”
You can read the full statement here.