Thursday, October 13, 2016

TripAdvisor's booking service stops offering tickets for physical animal interactions

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 1:45 PM

  • Photo via Discovery Cove/Facebook
TripAdvisor announced on Wednesday that their booking service Viator will no longer be selling tickets to experiences where guests come into physical contact with wild or endangered animals. 

Their announcement lists experiences such as swimming with dolphins, elephant rides, and tiger-petting as ones that the site will no longer sell tickets for, but states that the policy is not limited to those specific experiences. 

This means that Discovery Cove is will no longer be on the site, as their dolphin-swim experience is the high point of a $200-$300 day. The Central Florida Zoo is not listed on Viator either, most likely due to their seasonal camel rides. 

Experiences such as interaction with domestic animals, aquarium touch pools and feeding programs with supervision are exceptions to the policy, and tickets to these kind of attractions will still be sold. This is why places like SeaWorld and Gatorland are still on the site.

TripAdvisor called this policy change an effort to improve health and safety standards of animals. Animal welfare groups have been applauding TripAdvisor's decision. PETA, for example, put out a statement commending TripAdvisor for their decision and encouraging other travel agencies to follow in their footsteps. 

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