Even though polls show that a majority of Canadians would refuse to book with a tour operator if they knew they promoted the use of wild animals in entertainment, many companies are still selling these experiences to consumers, says World Animal Protection Canada.
World Animal Protection released its Tracking the Travel Industry report, Monday to independently analyze the public commitments travel companies have, and haven’t, made towards animal welfare.
The research was conducted by the University of Surrey which looked at several major travel companies including Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, Flight Centre, Groupon, Get Your Guide, Klook, The Travel Corporation (TTC), Trip.com, TripAdvisor / Viator, and TUI/Musement.
In addition, World Animal Protection checked to see if these companies offered common exploitative attractions that involved elephants, primates, big cats, dolphins or other wildlife shows.
A majority of companies reviewed received failing grades for selling exploitative animal experiences and for not encouraging educational, humane and sustainable experiences instead, reported World Animal Protection.
“We are asking responsible travellers to join us in urging these travel companies to do better for animals,” said Melissa Matlow, World Animal Protection Canada’s Campaign Director.
A 2022 Savanta poll found that 84 per cent of Canadians agree that tour operators should avoid activities that cause suffering for wild animals and 62 per cent would not travel with a tour operator if they knew they promoted the use of wild animals in entertainment.
The report acknowledged that some companies have taken positive steps for wildlife over recent years, including Airbnb, Booking.com and The Travel Corporation (TTC), which is headquartered in Canada and owns 40 travel brands, including Trafalgar and Contiki.