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TripAdvisor Halts Ticket Sales to ‘Interactive’ Wildlife Attractions

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Popular travel website TripAdvisor announced this week that it stop selling tickets to attractions where visitors come in contact with wild animals, particularly endangered species. This cuts down on a wide swath of popular actives at wildlife parks, like elephant rides, swimming with dolphins and petting sedated larger animals like tigers.

It also revealed plans for an “educational portal” on its site — in conjunction with several wildlife conservation groups — to educate tourists about animal welfare.

“TripAdvisor’s new booking policy and education effort is designed as a means to do our part in helping improve the health and safety standards of animals, especially in markets with limited regulatory protections,” TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer said in a statement.

“We believe the end result of our efforts will be enabling travelers to make more thoughtful choices about whether to visit an animal attraction and to write more meaningful reviews about those attractions,” the statement continued.

The company says it will halt ticket sales to some companies immediately, but that the policy change will be completed in early 2017 when the portal is complete.

TripAdvisor has already banned reviews for businesses that promote “bloodsport” attractions like bullfights or captive hunts, and the company has planned exemptions for actives like horseback riding and children’s petting zoos.