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TripAdvisor Inc. Profiting From Wildlife Exploitation
With its 2015 income reaching almost $1.5bn, TripAdvisor Inc.’s influence on the tourism industry is immense. But according to World Animal Protection it is choosing to profit from the horrific abuse of wild animals in tourist entertainment rather than help protect them. Investigations done by World Animal Protection 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 reviewed 188 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. 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 the World Animal Protection can generate to move global companies together. Instead of promoting and profiting from cruel wildlife tourist attractions, the organisation wants 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. The organisation proposed 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.