Responsible Travel

Would a real responsible traveller have captive wildlife entertainment on their wish list?

Demand for responsible holidays is rising

There is an ever-growing demand for responsible travel, with travellers seeking more sustainable ways to holiday, but animal welfare is a missing piece.

Hundreds of thousands of wild animals are being exploited worldwide for tourist entertainment, resulting in a cycle of never-ending suffering. The suffering is often invisible, cleverly hidden by venues and associated travel companies who put profits first.

Luckily, travellers are waking up to the dark reality behind wild animal encounters, such as elephant rides and captive dolphin entertainment venues, and demanding wildlife-friendly alternatives and truly responsible holidays. Therefore, travel companies who continue to exploit wildlife for profit have a risky and unsustainable future.

Responsible travel policy within the travel industry

Responsible travel policies help ensure that the travel industry meets commitments to protect animals worldwide and offer meaningful customer experiences.

Wild animals have the right to a wild life. They should be seen in the wild, thriving in their natural habitat. If not possible any wildlife encounter at travel destinations must take place where animal welfare is prioritised over entertainment.

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Wild animals have the right to a wild life.

An Example of Animal Welfare Policy

We collaborated with Scandinavia's most prominent travel agency, Spies (Nordic Leisure Travel Group), to develop a comprehensive policy to protect animal welfare.

As part of the policy, Spies will be guiding their traveller to help them to avoid stumbling into unethical offerings on holiday – such as petting lions and tigers, taking selfies with wildlife, or paying to see performing monkeys and bears.

"It is extremely important that the major travel providers take the lead and insist on being part of the solution and the change."

- Spies (Nordic Leisure Travel Group)

An Example of Responsible and Protective Wildlife Tourism

World Animal Protection and World Cetacean Alliance are developing the Whale Heritage Sites (WHS) programme that accredits destinations worldwide that support and celebrate cetaceans and their ocean habitats.

As a result, responsible tourists and travel companies can confidently choose authentic wildlife-friendly tourism experiences.

The Real Responsible Traveller

Building on our 2020 Tracking the Travel Industry report, we will continue exposing and isolating the laggards in the travel industry. The Real Responsible Traveller will help to inform you which travel companies are still promoting and selling exploitative wildlife.

Who you book your holiday with matters.

Find out more: Real Responsible Traveller

How you can be a responsible tourist

Travelling responsibly means never including cruel, captive wildlife entertainment on your itinerary and never booking your holiday with travel companies that are failing to address animal welfare issues and continue to profit from wild animal suffering.

As a responsible tourist, you have the power to take action against travel companies failing animals with their offerings. Animals are not commodities; calling out the operators treating them as such can change lives.

350,000 of our supporters campaigned tirelessly for Expedia Group to end the sale and promotion of captive dolphin venues and succeeded. TripAdvisor and Virgin Holidays stopped marketing these cruel attractions in 2019.

Together, we can drive down tourist demand for exploitative wildlife experiences and ensure more companies publicly commit to becoming wildlife friendly.

Responsible Travel FAQs

En spækhugger optræder for publikum i show i Loro Parque, Tenerife