Airbnb introduces ethical Animal Experiences for tourists worldwide

If you’ve been to Thailand or other parts of South East Asia you may have posed with a tiger or other wild animal on your trip.

But reports have revealed the hidden horrors of animals in captivity. In an attempt to curb the tourism that feeds into this unethical industry, Airbnb is offering animal experiences.

Much like the normal local trips and experiences they offer, the brand is allowing travellers to go on guilt-free excursions via their website.

Airbnb will facilitate 1,000 animal-friendly excursions, tours and activities across 58 countries.

So you can go forth and pet elephants and pose side by side with a horse knowing they’re being well looked after.

Or you can stand back and observe the likes of dolphins, lions, bears, penguins, deers and much much more. You can even visit the dogs of Chernobyl.

If you’re more of a doer, there’s also a bunch of activities letting you play with them, whether your choice of play buddy is a corgi to paddleboard with or a goat to hike or do yoga with.

There are even 122 opportunities to care for animals too, allowing you to hug cows, become a beekeeper for a day, be a manatee caretaker.

And good news – all the experiences must follow World Animal Protection (WAP) guidelines, so you can connect with a clear conscience.

Under the WAP criteria, experiences won’t allow direct contact with wild animals, including petting, feeding or riding.

There are also strict rules relating to working animals and no excursions related to marine animals held in captivity.

Businesses running tours or activities which are known to trade illegal wildlife or partake in animal sporting/entertainment will be excluded from the experiences.

Those who meet the guidelines will be awarded a WAP to assure visitors that they meet ethical standards.

Unfortunately, there’s a limited number of activities available in Asia but the endeavour is still new so it’s hoped more organisations will sign up.

At the moment, you can enjoy horseback riding in Vietnam, bird-watching in India, and swimming with giant whale sharks in the Philippines among others.

‘This new animal welfare policy created in consultation with our animal welfare experts combined with the creativity and dedication of Airbnb will ensure that adventurers have many options to experience the beauty of animals in a way that considers their welfare first.’

You can check out the full range of Animal Experiences on the Airbnb website.

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