Is TripAdvisor finally ready to make a move for wildlife?

17/06/2016

After a year of asking, and over 330,000 people demanding action, we finally got to meet with TripAdvisor last week. We discussed how they can help protect wild animals being abused in the tourism industry.

TripAdvisor said they are “committed to exploring this [issue] in a thoughtful and responsible manner to protect animal welfare”. They’re setting up a working group to do this.

‘Commitment to explore’

TripAdvisor said they are “committed to exploring this [issue] in a thoughtful and responsible manner to protect animal welfare”. They’re setting up a working group to do this.

This is progress. Of course, it’s only a tentative, baby step, but it’s a step in the right direction and we welcome it. We’ve agreed to share information about the cruelties of wildlife entertainment, and examples of good wildlife tourist experiences, such as the Romanian bear sanctuary we fund and work with, as featured in our Checking out of cruelty report.

We’ve also offered our animal welfare expertise to support their working group in figuring out how they can protect wild animals, and to help them develop a WildlifeLeaders scheme, similar to their GreenLeaders scheme that awards accommodation companies that have proved to be eco-friendly.

No commitment to do anything for wild animals

TripAdvisor’s ‘commitment to explore’ is not a commitment to any specific actions for wild animals. The company continues to promote and profit from cruel wildlife entertainment and has not made promises to take concrete steps to protect wild animals.

This is despite having the evidence and information that we have provided them with and the hundreds of thousands of people across the world expressing their disapproval of TripAdvisor’s practices by signing our petition calling on them to act.

At the meeting TripAdvisor was not prepared to commit to a timeline for its review and even said it could take years.