This is an excerpt from an article written by Melanie van Zyl and published online by Getaway on 28 May, 2020.
Captive wildlife attractions and animal interactions remain a controversial issue, but the industry is changing, and it’s mostly thanks to tourists.
Growing awareness has visitors calling for conscious tourism, and to help them make informed choices the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) has released a toolkit of new guidelines to ethical animal encounters, which advise tourists not to endorse facilities that offer human-animal interactions, animal performances, or activities that involve unnatural animal behaviour.
Other tourism bodies and operators are also taking a stance. TripAdvisor has ended ticket sales to attractions that breed cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) or ‘continue to contribute to their captivity’. Airbnb has launched its own ethical experiences on their popular adventure platform, and G Adventures offers travellers a guilt-free guide to wildlife interactions.