Airbnb announced today that it is launching a new category of Animal Experiences. The new offering is guided by a premiere animal welfare policy created in consultation with World Animal Protection.
The online marketplace is now offering more than 1,000 animal-friendly experiences that consider the well-being of animals across 58 countries.
This new policy positions Airbnb as a leader in ethical wildlife tourism. It will remove and prohibit direct contact experiences with wild animals from its Airbnb Experiences offering.
Following meetings with World Animal Protection, Airbnb Animal Experiences have been designed to deepen travelers’ appreciation and understanding of animals through the eyes of those who work alongside them.
Airbnb’s new animal welfare guidelines will assist in creating experiences that benefit animals, protect them from demeaning activities, enhance conservation efforts, and raise awareness to the importance of animal welfare.
“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,” Alesia Soltanpanah, Executive Director of World Animal Protection U.S., said in a statement. “To have a travel company such as Airbnb commit to making animal welfare a top priority, will not only help educate travelers on the importance of cruelty-free animal tourism, but will also encourage other companies to do so as well. Animals should be appreciated for their intrinsic value and their welfare should be ensured at all times.”
Airbnb is a United States-based travel booking platform with over six million listings in 191 countries. Its goal is to create a world where everyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, diverse and authentic, and allowing people to better understand animals while traveling.
“With technology taking up so much of our lives, it is easy to feel disconnected from nature and animals,” which is one of the main reasons for Airbnb to create this expansion,” shared Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder Brian Chesky. “The ultimate goal is to offer consumers a fresh new way to connect with animals near and far, so that even busy city dwellers can appreciate nature and animals.”
The policy Animal World Protection created with Airbnb protects the welfare of animals around the globe, the highlights include:
Wild animals: there should be no direct contact, including but not limited to, petting, feeding, or riding animals
Marine mammals: should never be kept in captivity for entertainment purposes
Broader host business: should not feature elephant rides, big cat interactions, illegal wildlife trade, “sporting events” such as canned hunting and trophy hunting or animals performing for entertainment
Responsible travel: no wild animals used as selfie props or subjected to any negative training technique