TripAdvisor Inc. is profiting from wildlife exploitation
Tourist attractions offering selfies with tigers are just one of the many types of cruel wildlife entertainment venues TripAdvisor Inc. makes money from.
Sadly, this abusive practice is growing. Our new report ‘Tiger selfies exposed: a portrait of Thailand’s tiger entertainment industry’, reveals increasing numbers of tigers being chained and caged as props for tourist photos. There are now over 800 - a rise of over 200 in just a few years.
With its 2015 income reaching almost $1.5bn, TripAdvisor’s influence on the tourism industry is immense. But it continues to promote and sell tickets to the world’s cruellest wildlife entertainment attractions, like the Sriracha Tiger Zoo.
Out of the 17 tiger entertainment venues we investigated, Sriracha Tiger Zoo was the one that stood out most. Not only did it have the highest number of captive tigers, it’s also where we observed the poorest conditions.
Last year, the University of Oxford reviewed 188 wildlife venues featured on TripAdvisor and found that 75% of the different types of attractions involve wildlife cruelty. Viator, which TripAdvisor acquired in 2014, sells tickets for a number of them. We have approached TripAdvisor on numerous occasions but they are reluctant to take the scale of action needed to protect wild animals.
If you believe wildlife belongs in the wild, please add your voice to our petition today.
Tiger selfies exposed
The new World Animal Protection report, ‘Tiger selfies exposed’ is available to download now.
Changing the world, together
Petitions take just seconds to support and can be incredibly powerful. Last year nearly 175,000 of you signed our petition telling travel company Thomas Cook Group plc to end the sale and promotion of elephant rides and shows. The company listened, removing elephant rides and shows from its promotional materials, proving that together, we have the power to move global companies to protect animals.
Promoting cruelty to wildlife
It’s not just TripAdvisor Inc.’s Viator sales that support cruel wildlife entertainment. TripAdvisor awards some cruel wildlife entertainment venues Certificates of Excellence, and ranks them in a Popularity Index.
Their Popularity Index and Certificate of Excellence instil trust in tourists, but in many cases this trust is misplaced. TripAdvisor use an algorithm to determine which venues to award. They have the power to change this algorithm.
TripAdvisor states it is just a platform for tourists to share opinions and does not provide any form of endorsement, but its ticket sales, Popularity Index ranking and Certificate of Excellence scheme all contribute to the promotion of these cruel attractions.
TripAdvisor is continuing the sad cycle of wildlife cruelty by promoting cruel attractions, and should award positive wildlife venues with recognition instead.
“Elephants were tied to the railings, beaten with hammer like objects in the head if they didn’t perform as instructed…” – TripAdvisor user review, 2015.
The tragic picture this review paints isn’t a one-off. It’s a reality for up to 550,000 wild animals. Elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys, dolphins and many more species are taken from their mothers when young, beaten, kept on chains or in very small enclosures.
Sign our petition and demand TripAdvisor helps give wild animals the lives they deserve.
The future of wildlife is in TripAdvisor’s hands
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site. A positive change at its level of the supply chain could ensure a bright, happy future for hundreds of thousands of wild animals.
Instead of promoting and profiting from cruel wildlife tourist attractions, we want to help TripAdvisor celebrate those that benefit the lives of wild animals, such as genuine sanctuaries or responsible wildlife watching venues. TripAdvisor already award their GreenLeaders stamp of approval to eco-friendly accommodation companies. We propose they do the same for positive wildlife experiences by rewarding them with the title WildlifeLeaders.
TripAdvisor needs to help tourists make informed decisions. The WildlifeLeaders programme would help end the cycle of wild animal abuse and create a cruelty-free future for tourism.
But the first step is to stop them promoting and profiting from cruelty. Sign the petition and tell TripAdvisor to do the right thing.