In October of 2019, travel website Airbnb launched their new Wildlife Animal Experiences program, and it’s a big step in the right direction, turning away from animal exploitation in the tourism industry. This recent addition of 1,000 Airbnb excursion opportunities in 58 countries focuses on humane and educational experiences that celebrate wildlife instead of harming it.
Creating Safe Wildlife Animal Experiences for All
In order to implement new animal-friendly excursions and experiences, Airbnb worked closely with World Animal Protection to create a set of requirements for animal guardians, nonprofits and others who want to add an experience to Airbnb’s roster, helping ensure that animals are respected and protected during the excursions. The policies ban direct interaction with wild animals unless for conservation or rescue purposes, as well as any experience with captive marine mammals like dolphins and whales. “Sports” like dog racing or running with bulls are prohibited, too.
As more and more cruelty is exposed in the animal tourism industry — from elephants chained, whipped and forced to give tourist rides, to baby tigers stolen from their families and held captive for selfies — Airbnb is the latest among a number of travel-related companies to promote humane animal interactions and shun animal abuse. TripAdvisor, for example, recently stopped selling SeaWorld tickets, and tickets for trips involving wildlife-touching in 2017.
Over 100 of the Airbnb excursions will be earmarked as Social Impact Experiences, programs from which the company donates all the proceeds to nonprofits.
Many travelers want to interact with and learn about local animals and nature while on vacation, but don’t always know which animal wildlife experiences are humane. All animals are deserving of respect and care, and we applaud Airbnb’s program and ongoing efforts in promoting compassion toward animals, steering tourists toward ethical attractions and away from animal abuse.