TripAdvisor Inc. is profiting from wildlife exploitation
With its 2015 income reaching almost $1,500m, TripAdvisor Inc.’s influence on the tourism industry is immense. But it is choosing to profit from the horrific abuse of wild animals in tourist entertainment rather than help protect them.
Our investigations reveal that TripAdvisor is profiting through the sale of tickets to venues that force wild animals to entertain tourists. It sells these tickets through Viator, a travel and tour booking company it acquired in 2014.
Last year The University of Oxford reviewed188 wildlife venues featured on TripAdvisor and found that 75% of the different types of attractions involve wildlife cruelty. TripAdvisor’s Viator sells tickets for a number of these exact types of attractions. We have approached TripAdvisor on numerous occasions but they have been reluctant to work with us and are failing to take action to protect wild animals.
Last year nearly 175,000 of you signed our petition to tell travel company Thomas Cook Group plc to end their sale and promotion of elephant rides and shows. They listened and removed elephant rides and shows from their promotional materials, proving the power we can generate to move global companies together. Help us reach TripAdvisor and demand they end their support of the cruel wildlife entertainment industry.
Images: World Animal Protection
Promoting cruelty to wildlife
It’s not just TripAdvisor Inc.’s Viator sales that support cruel wildlife entertainment. TripAdvisor awards some cruel wildlife entertainment venues their Certificate of Excellence and ranks them in a Popularity Index.
Their Popularity Index and Certificate of Excellence instil trust in tourists, but in many cases this trust is misplaced. TripAdvisor use an algorithm to determine which venues to award. They have the power to change this algorithm.
TripAdvisor states they are just a platform for tourists to share opinions and do not provide any form of endorsement, but their ticket sales, Popularity Index ranking and Certificate of Excellence scheme all contribute to the promotion of these cruel attractions.
TripAdvisor are continuing the sad cycle of wildlife cruelty by promoting cruel attractions. They should award positive wildlife venues instead.
“Elephants were tied to the railings, beaten with hammer like objects in the head if they didn’t perform as instructed…” – TripAdvisor user review, 2015.
The tragic picture this review paints isn’t a one-off. It’s a reality for up to 550,000 wild animals. Elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys, dolphins and many more species are taken from their mothers when young, beaten, kept on chains or in very small enclosures.
Sign our petition and demand TripAdvisor helps give wild animals the lives they deserve.
The future of wildlife is in TripAdvisor’s hands
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site. A positive change at its level of the supply chain could ensure a bright, happy future for hundreds of thousands of wild animals.
Instead of promoting and profiting from cruel wildlife tourist attractions, we want to help TripAdvisor celebrate those that benefit the lives of wild animals, such as genuine sanctuaries or responsible wildlife watching venues. TripAdvisor already award their GreenLeaders stamp of approval to eco-friendly accommodation companies. We propose they do the same for positive wildlife experiences by rewarding them with the title WildlifeLeaders.
TripAdvisor needs to help tourists make informed decisions. The WildlifeLeaders programme would help end the cycle of wild animal abuse and create a cruelty-free future for tourism.
But the first step is to stop them promoting and profiting from cruelty. Sign the petition and tell TripAdvisor to do the right thing.