Exciting news has been released Thursday from Expedia, Inc., much to the relief of wildlife lovers around the globe. The company has announced that they will be reviewing and removing attractions and tours where guests interact with wildlife. This is huge news and follows in the footsteps of other travel leaders, such as TripAdvisor and Intrepid Travel.
Expedia, Inc. has not identified tour operators, however, they have advised that “activities involving certain wildlife animal interactions will no longer be bookable on its online travel sites.” In addition, Expedia will be launching a Wildlife Tourism Education Portal later this year to help educate and inform travelers about responsible wildlife tourism and animal welfare. Travelers will have access to activities offered through Expedia along with information on tourism and interaction with wildlife.
Vice president of Expedia Local Expert, Jen O’Twomney, stated “Expedia can play an integral part in educating travelers about the diverse views related to wildlife tourism, so they can make informed decisions that align with how they travel and how they interact with the animals that share our planet. As travelers, it is important that we know more about the places we go, the activities we engage in, and the ways in which we leave lasting impacts on our destinations. As we help people go places, we want to help them do it thoughtfully, and responsibly.”
Petitions have been circulating communities like Change.org for some time. One such petition was created 10 months ago by SEEtheWILD.org CEO, Aaron Smith of Vancouver, BC., which has gathered almost 2500 signatures to date and is still growing. The SEEtheWILD community is a group of animal lovers and the group has launched its support through initiatives like the KEEPitWILD Pledge. Organizations, Tour Operators, Influencers, Travel Media, and Citizens can take the pledge in support of wildlife-friendly travel.
At SEEtheWILD, we are happy to see leaders like Expedia take a stand and help protect our wildlife friends around the world. There is still much work to be done. Here’s to hoping Priceline gets the message and follows suit.
For more information about the KEEPitWILD Pledge, click here.