TripAdvisor, the globally-recognised travel site, declared that they will end their retail of tickets for some of the most brutal wildlife tourist attractions.
This decision comes less than six months after World Animal Protection launched a petition urging action – over 558,000 supporters across the world called upon TripAdvisor to stop profiting from the sale of tickets to cruel wildlife tourist attractions.
This is the latest breakthrough for the charity’s Wildlife – Not Entertainers campaign. The charity first campaigned against cruel wildlife entertainment in 1991 and has 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.
World Animal Protection will join other animal welfare, conservation and tourism industry experts to work with TripAdvisor as they launch a new education portal linked to every animal attraction listing on TripAdvisor. The portal will educate millions of tourists about the cruelties wild animals face for tourism entertainment. According to an independent polling commissioned by World Animal Protection, 85% of people agreed that wild animals belong in the wild and 75% said it was wrong for people to make an income from using wild animals for entertainment if the animals suffer.
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One of the popular holiday activities TripAdvisor will stop selling tickets for are elephant rides, an activity World Animal Protection has revealed to be one of the world’s cruellest forms of wildlife tourist entertainment. Baby elephants are often taken from their mothers when young, 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.
Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection says:
“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 have 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.
Although TripAdvisor’s announcement today is significant, certain venues that involves cruel entertainment attractions will still be bookable via TripAdvisor or its Viator brand. They say that they will end the sale of specific experiences where tourists have direct physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species.
Steve also adds: “We hope it will only be a matter of time before TripAdvisor will also come to realize that it has to end sales to all cruel wildlife attractions such as SeaWorld where the animals endure a lifetime of abuse and highly stressful training in order 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 this suffering of animals for tourist entertainment, World Animal Protection has been engaging with the travel industry, globally seeking for them to commit to not send their customers to venues where they can ride elephants or take selfies with tigers and lion cubs.
Over 100 global travel companies have already agreed 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 and TUI.