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TripAdvisor announces booking changes linked to animal attractions

TripAdvisor plans to have both the educational portal and booking policy changes fully-launched and implemented by early 2017.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 12, 2016, 06.26 PM IST
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TripAdvisor and its Viator brand will discontinue selling tickets for specific tourism experiences where travellers come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species, including but not limited to elephant rides, petting tigers, and swim with dolphin attractions.
TripAdvisor and its Viator brand will discontinue selling tickets for specific tourism experiences where travellers come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species, including but not limited to elephant rides, petting tigers, and swim with dolphin attractions.
NEW DELHI: Travel site TripAdvisor has announced changes to its policy on selling tickets to animal attractions, and the launch of a new education portal to help inform travellers about the standards of care for wild, captive, and endangered species in tourism and their interactions with tourists, and their impact on wildlife conservation.

TripAdvisor and its Viator brand will discontinue selling tickets for specific tourism experiences where travellers come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species, including but not limited to elephant rides, petting tigers, and swim with dolphin attractions.

While some attractions will cease booking through TripAdvisor immediately, the company plans to have both the educational portal and booking policy changes fully-launched and implemented by early 2017.

TripAdvisor is also launching an education portal linked to every animal attraction listing on TripAdvisor. The portal will provide links and information on animal welfare practices, helping travellers write more informed reviews about their experience, and be aware of opinions that exist on the conservation implications and benefits of some tourism attractions.

“TripAdvisor’s new booking policy and education effort is designed as a means to do our part in helping improve the health and safety standards of animals, especially in markets with limited regulatory protections,” said Stephen Kaufer, president and CEO, TripAdvisor. “At the same time, we want to celebrate those destinations and attractions that are leaders in caring for animals and those in the tourism industry who help further the cause of animal welfare, conservation and the preservation of endangered species. We want to thank the dozens of trade groups, academics and nongovernmental organizations who helped us design our path forward as a company.”

For attractions that can provide evidence that they are in-policy, but were impacted by today’s decision, TripAdvisor and Viator will implement an appeals process to re-establish ticket sales to certain experiences that may have been excluded through their booking policy update. The policy includes several exemptions, including: horseback riding, children’s petting zoos with domestic animals like rabbits,aquarium touch pools used for education purposes where tourists are under the supervision of zoo, aquarium and or wildlife official, feeding programs where tourists are under the supervision of zoo and or wildlife officials, volunteer programs for endangered species preservation at zoos, aquariums or sanctuaries where it is possible that there might be some level of physical interaction with an animal.

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