At first glance, TripAdvisor’s decision to stop selling tickets for activities that interact with captive animals and endangered species doesn’t seem like a big deal.
After all, you can still book interactions with wildlife through other agents. However, as one of the biggest travel sites in the world, taking such a stand is an exciting step forward for animal conservation in tourism.
Studies show that attractions such as elephant rides, tiger petting, and swim-with dolphin experiences cause the animals psychological and physical trauma resulting in shorter life spans.
Research conducted by the World Animal Protection and WildCRU last year found the millions of people that visit wildlife attractions consistently ranked clearly inhumane treatment of animals as “excellent” or “good” on TripAdvisor. In fact, 80% of reviewers failed to recognize that certain wildlife attractions were bad for the animals.