TripAdvisor will no longer sell tickets to animal attractions like elephant rides and dolphin swims
October 17, 2016
Published on Oct 18, 2016
Tourists riding elephants in the Chiang Mai province of Thailand. Credit: Rungroj Yongrit/European Pressphoto Agency
In a bold move praised by animal rights activists, TripAdvisor and its booking service site Viator have announced that they will stop selling tickets to attractions involving endangered species or wild animals in captivity. This means that the elephant rides, tiger petting zoos, and other popular, but problematic, diversions in Southeast Asia are out. Animal-oriented attractions that meet stringent standards and offer educational benefits will be allowed to remain on review portion of the website with a special “paw” mark to symbolize approval. The site plans to stop selling tickets right away, but will need until the beginning of 2017 to fully implement all changes.
“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,” TripAdvisor’s chief executive and co-founder, Stephen Kaufer, in a prepared statement quoted by The New York Times.
It’s an unprecedented move, but coming from one of the world’s largest and most powerful travel websites, it might be able to turn the tide for species in Southeast Asia that have long suffered in unnecessary captivity.