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How Airbnb is Promoting Ethical Animal Tourism

by Erich Martin

Dec 9, 2019

© Debra James | Dreamstime.com

Trends / Top Trends

We’ve all seen the ubiquitous photos of our friends (or Facebook acquaintances) posing with tigers in Thailand or riding elephants at Angkor Wat or in India. But what has become known as “animal tourism” isn’t always ethical as some animals are kept in poor conditions, underfed and used solely for tourism purposes. Airbnb is working to combat these potentially harmful activities by offering experiences to their customers, but only those that promote ethical practices for the animals.

 

Airbnb’s new platform called Animal Experiences offers more than 1,000 activities in 60 countries where travelers and animals can interact in environments that make the welfare of the animals the main focus. Program officials work with World Animal Protection to develop an animal welfare policy to ensure all owners or hosts who take part in the experiences abide by certain rules, one of which is to forbid humans from touching the animals and not allowing selfies with the animals.

 

As part of this program, there will be no animal performances or rides. However, domesticated work animals like donkeys can transport a maximum of one passenger at a time, who cannot weigh more than one-fifth of the animal’s weight.

 

A portion of the proceeds collected by Airbnb’s Animal Experiences will be donated to veterinary care, conservation and other animal-focused non-profit organizations.

 

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