Revealed: the travel company laggards failing wildlife
GetYourGuide, Klook, Traveloka, Trip.com and TUI Musement still selling animal exploitation dressed up as fun holiday attractions
The Real Responsible Traveller Guide lists the five travel companies – GetYourGuide, Klook, Traveloka, Trip.com and TUI Musement – who continue to severely fail wild animals by selling and promoting harmful and exploitative circus-style performances and interactions, including elephant riding and bathing, selfies with tiger cubs and swimming with dolphins.
Every year, thousands of animals are either captured in the wild or born into captivity. Either way, they are typically removed from their mothers at an early age and then subjected to harsh training regimes which have been found to cause physical and psychological harm.
They are then forced into unnatural, human-contrived “show” environments which are incredibly stressful – though the public are told these attractions have educational or conservation benefit.
This could not be further from the truth - and that’s why many holidaymakers who pay to see such exploitative entertainment often feel uncomfortable watching such shows, knowing it doesn’t feel right to see animals in these unnatural scenarios.
Travelling responsibly means never including captive wildlife entertainment on your itinerary and refusing to book your holiday with travel companies which though may claim to offer responsible, sustainable travel, continue to profit from wild animal exploitation because they fail to address the suffering in their supply chains.
Morvah George, World Animal Protection’s Campaign Lead for Wildlife, said: “Instead of helping to end the demand for these cruel practices, GetYourGuide, Klook, Traveloka, Trip.com and TUI Musement are sustaining them. They are not keeping pace with other global travel companies and industry leaders to protect wild animals, instead choosing to continue to profit from wild animal suffering.
“We are urging responsible travellers to join us in calling out these laggard travel companies and implore them to do better for animals.”
Holidaymakers can make their concerns known to the travel companies by clicking here.
Morvah added: “Animals are not commodities to be exploited and sold as entertainment. The companies who continue to treat them as such must be called out. Who you book your holiday with matters. Real responsible travellers have the power to act and create real change for wild animals.”
The Real Responsible Traveller Guide builds on World Animal Protection’s 2020 Tracking the Travel Industry, which assessed Airbnb, AttractionTickets.com, Booking.com, DER Touristik, Expedia, Flight Centre, GetYourGuide, Klook, The Travel Corporation TripAdvisorViator, Trip.com and TUI Musement.
Commissioned by World Animal Protection and undertaken by the University of Surrey, The Real Responsible Traveller Guide independently analysed the public commitments travel companies have, and haven’t, made.
Companies were scored across four key areas:
- Commitment: Availability and quality of published animal welfare policies and how applicable they are to all their brands.
- Targets and performance: Availability and scope of published time bound targets and reports on progress towards meeting animal welfare commitments.
- Changing industry supply: Availability and quality of engagement with suppliers and the overall industry, to implement wildlife-friendly changes.
- Changing consumer demand: Availability and quality of educational animal welfare content and tools to empower consumers to make wildlife-friendly travel choices.
World Animal Protection then checked to see if they offered five groups of common exploitative “animal attractions”:
- Elephant attractions such as rides, shows or ‘washing’ experiences
- Primate attractions such as ‘petting’ or hand feeding opportunities
- Big cat attractions such as selfies, walk-withs, shows or ‘petting’ experiences
- Dolphin attractions such as performances or ‘swim with’ experiences
- Wildlife attractions such as shows, rides or any direct interactive experiences with other wild animal species
The guide acknowledges those companies that have taken positive steps for wildlife over recent years, including Airbnb, Booking and the Travel Corporation.
For more information about industry best practices and how you can make a difference, visit our Responsible Travel page.
World Animal Protection is urging holidaymakers to check before they book and make sure their travel company is not exploiting animals.