Last updated: 10:03 AM ET, Thu October 13 2016

TripAdvisor Halts Sale of Tickets for Animal Tourism Deemed Cruel

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | October 13, 2016

TripAdvisor Halts Sale of Tickets for Animal Tourism Deemed Cruel

Photo: Elephant in India. (Photo by David Cogswell)

On Wednesday, travel website TripAdvisor announced it would stop selling tickets for tourist entertainment options deemed cruel to animals, including elephant rides, selfies with tigers and holding sea turtles.

According to, TripAdvisor and its Viator brand announced they will halt the sales of tickets for travel activities involving captive wild animals or endangered species. Three of the main entertainment options named by the travel website’s announcement include elephant rides, selfies with tigers and swimming with dolphins.

Part of the reason for stopping the sale of these tickets is TripAdvisor’s aim to help improve the health and safety standards of animals in places where regulations aren’t as strict as the United States, according to the company’s CEO Stephen Kaufer.

READ MORE: Animal Activists Target TripAdvisor After Elephant Death in Cambodia

While not all of the entertainment options being eliminated from the service will be removed immediately, most have already been taken down and the remainder are expected to be gone by early 2107. TripAdvisor will also add an educational portal to help make travelers aware of why the website has taken action.

For the last several years, the Viator brand has supported animal welfare standards in its booking policies and even banned travel to places where captive wild animals are killed for sport. On the other hand, TripAdvisor announced it will still book activities such as horseback riding, petting zoos, aquariums, zoos and animal sanctuaries.

The decision by TripAdvisor comes just a few months after an animal welfare group from London petitioned the travel website to help protect wild animals from being treated cruelly in the tourism industry.


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