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Trio of animal cruelty hotspots lose TripAdvisor awards

13 April 2018

A number of tourism facilities praised with TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence awards lose their recognition after Animals Asia campaign.

Animals exploited in three tourism sites in Southeast Asia have the possibility of a brighter future after TripAdvisor removed the facilities’ Certificate of Excellence awards.

Elephants forced to carry passengers at Bali Elephant Camp, a sun bear family used as photo props at True Bali Experience, and orangutans made to box each other at Safari World can expect fewer customers funding their exploitation as the move makes each facility less attractive to tourists.

Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director Dave Neale said:

“Glowing user reviews and awards from huge global brands like TripAdvisor are giving tourists entirely the wrong impression about what constitutes animal cruelty in the tourism industry. It is absolutely vital that the biggest brands take steps to marginalise tours which cause cruelty to animals and clean up their industry.”

In March, Animals Asia alerted TripAdvisor to a list of facilities carrying their Certificate of Excellence awards which potentially breach the travel site’s policy.

While TripAdvisor has made some progress, nearly a month after they received the list, three tours still have Certificates of Excellence while TripAdvisor sells tickets for another seven tours which harm animals.


A post shared by Animals Asia (@animalsasia) on Apr 11, 2018 at 6:18am PDT


Despite being alerted to extreme animal cruelty, TripAdvisor continues to sell tickets for tours involving the slaughter of vulnerable species, elephant rides and wild animal performances.

It is hoped the removal of True Bali Experience’s award will renew pressure on the tourism facility to end the use of a sun bear family as photo props.

Animals Asia has campaigned against the exploitation of cub Marsha and her mother Ajib since 2017, but the charity’s offer to provide animal welfare management free of charge in exchange for an end to the selfies was refused.

Dave said:

“Many tourists would never knowingly endanger animals, they’re simply unaware of the appalling reality behind many tourism experiences.”

“As a result, thousands of animals endure very real harm on a daily basis, while others are poached from the wild to feed the public’s insatiable appetite for tourism experiences such as selfies.”

If you believe TripAdvisor – the world’s largest travel website – has a duty to do more to stop their site being misused as a hub for animal cruelty, sign the petition today.