TripAdvisor no longer supports Surin Elephant Festival

TripAdvisor, which has for years been accused of profiting from animal cruelty, has finally buckled and announced that it will stop selling tickets to cruel wildlife attractions.

According to one charity, the tourist attractions listed on the US-based travel site are causing as many as 550,000 animals to suffer in cruel conditions each year and include popular activities where visitors pet tigers, ride elephants and swim with dolphins.

But now, with immediate effect, TripAdvisor and its subsidiary Viator will stop generating revenue from such attractions.

Earlier this year, MailOnline Travel reported that World Animal Protection accused TripAdvisor of ‘profiting from the world’s cruelest animal attractions’ by listing and selling tickets to them.

However, TripAdvisor stated that listing an attraction does not represent their ‘endorsement of that establishment’ and that tours booked through its subsidiary, Viator, go through a pre-screening process.

Now the company has changed its stance by stopping the sales of tickets to such attractions altogether.

In a statement, the company announced that the policy will affect attractions ‘where tourists come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species’.

This is a welcome move and hopefully other tour operators will follow suit. The Surin Elephant festival is a classic example of tourists being encouraged to spend money at an event where animals endure unspeakable cruelty with the public being blissfully unaware of what is going on.

The case of the monk-run tiger sanctuary which was closed last year after it was found that tigers were being beaten and also bred to be sold for Chinese “medicines”is another famous example of animal cruelty in the Kingdom.

On a similar note, tourists to Thailand need to be made aware of the plight of the street elephants.These poor creatures are made to trudge city streets at night so that ignorant tourists can be photographed feeding an elephant.

What in fact is happening is that your 20 baht buys cheap sugar cane based crap that often leads to diabetes in these magnificent animals. Their handlers are not trained mahoots and usually they merely rent the elephants and show little concern for their well-being.

By Juninho