As the world celebrates World Animal Day, Airbnb launches its new feature offering “animal experiences”. The initiative by the organization comes after the announcement by TripAdvisor to stop selling tickets to all attractions that feature whales and dolphins. Similarly, Airbnb's new launch will further ban any direct contact with wild animals. The company reportedly will not feature or support operations that would involve direct contact with wild animals including petting or riding them. These developments in the tourism industry are considered to be a step towards saving the wildlife as the exploitation of animals for entertainment is a major problem around the world.
In 2017, Expedia reportedly announced that it would no longer offer certain animal activities. It also partnered with groups to provide education to visitors about the issues wild animals face in facilities that are more interested in profits and possibly mistreating animals. The initiative by Airbnb will be leading to a ban where the visitors will no longer be able to pet, feed or ride the animals, although, there are exceptions for non-profit organizations that conduct conservation research. Animals such as horses and camels may only carry no more than one rider and no more than 20 per cent of their body weight. It will further prohibit all kinds of elephant interactions and captive marine animals.
The abuse of animals such as elephants, whales, and dolphins has always been a major problem as they continue to be taken from the wild and forcefully captivated in order to entertain tourists. Many countries including the United States, India, and South Africa have taken measures to save wildlife. Human Society of the US and Humane Society International have been reportedly involved for a long time in efforts at the global level to stop such exploitation. India has also been reportedly working to end the use of elephants for joyrides at the Amer Fort in the Indian state of Rajasthan. India's local authorities in India also began an investigation into the abuse of the elephants who lead a dreary life in inadequate facilities with an insufficient diet and lack of medical care. In South Africa, the Humane Society is reportedly fighting to end the lion snuggle scam industry.