TripAdvisor to stop selling tickets for some of the world’s cruellest tourist activities

12 October 2016

Victory for over 558,000 supporters who backed our Wildlife Not Entertainers campaign action against the world’s largest travel site

We are proud to share the news that TripAdvisor will stop selling tickets to some of the cruelest wildlife activities, where tourists are allowed direct contact with captive wild animals or endangered species.

It will also launch an online education portal, to help millions of tourists learn about the cruelties wild animals face for tourism entertainment.

The decision comes less than six months after we launched a worldwide petition urging TripAdvisor to stop profiting from the sale of tickets to cruel wildlife tourist attractions.

The action garnered overwhelming support, with over half a million people lending their name. We are hugely thankful to everyone who has joined us to help move the world for animals.

The cruellest attractions

Specific tourist experiences that will no longer be bookable on TripAdvisor or Viator are those where travelers come into direct contact with captive wild animals or endangered species. This means activities such as tiger selfies, petting of lion cubs and swimming with dolphins.

TripAdvisor will also stop selling tickets for is elephant riding, an activity we have exposed as one of the world’s cruelest forms of wildlife tourist entertainment. Baby elephants are often taken from their mothers when young. They are beaten, and endure ongoing physical and psychological abuse during training to make them submissive enough to spend the rest of their long lives chained and giving rides to tourists.

Another major win for animals

This is the latest major breakthrough for our Wildlife. Not Entertainers campaign. We first campaigned against cruel wildlife entertainment in 1991 and ended bear dancing in Greece, Turkey and India. Today’s announcement by TripAdvisor is a significant step towards ending elephant rides, tiger selfies, swimming with dolphins and other forms of cruel tourist entertainment.

We will join other animal welfare, conservation and tourism industry experts to work with TripAdvisor, as it launches its education portal linked to every animal attraction listing on the site.

The portal, which will be recognizable with a ‘PAW-icon’, will educate millions of tourists about welfare and conservation concerns and warn about the cruelties imposed upon wild animals used as props for tourist entertainment.

An important step

Steve McIvor, World Animal Protection CEO, said:

“We congratulate TripAdvisor on taking this important step towards ending the cruel wildlife tourism entertainment industry – it’s also a great result for over half a million World Animal Protection supporters who took action with us to stop the travel site from profiting on sales of elephant rides, tiger selfies and other cruel wildlife tourist interactions.

“We’re happy to be a part of their new initiative to help raise awareness among TripAdvisor users about these abuses and we will work with and continue to steer the company until all sales of cruel wildlife entertainment has been removed and their users know about every cruel wildlife attraction. Once people know the truth about these wildlife abuses they will choose to stay away because they love animals.”

Continued work

Although TripAdvisor’s announcement today is significant, certain venues that offer cruel entertainment will likely still be bookable via TripAdvisor or its Viator brand. The site has confirmed it will only end sales for specific experiences that allow tourist to have direct physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species.

Mr McIvor said:

“We hope it will only be a matter of time before TripAdvisor will also come to realize that it has to end sales to cruel wildlife attractions such as SeaWorld where the animals endure a lifetime of abuse and highly stressful training to perform. Until then we will provide the best education we can on TripAdvisor’s website to steer people away from cruel venues like these.”

In order to bring an end to the suffering of animals for entertainment, we engage with the global travel industry, urging tour operators and others to commit to not sending customers to venues where they can ride elephants take selfies with tigers or can pet lion cubs. Over 100 global travel companies have already agreed with us to no longer offer visits to venues with elephant rides and shows in any of their markets. Among these are popular brands from across the world, like Contiki, Kuoni Travel UK, Intrepid Travel and TUI.

"We congratulate TripAdvisor on taking this important step towards ending the cruel wildlife tourism entertainment industry." - Steve McIvor, World Animal Protection CEO
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