Visiting an animal attraction? Here are a few things to consider either before you go or when you write a review, gathered from some of the leading voices in the ongoing discussion about the role of animals in the tourism industry.

Across the globe, many attractions feature animals in some way, whether in the wild or in captivity. At TripAdvisor, we believe every attraction that features live animals has a responsibility to ensure those animals are treated humanely.

We know that most attraction operators act responsibly, and agree with the basic precept of treating animals humanely. But we also know that worldwide, these standards can vary depending on local laws and cultural differences concerning the role of humans and animals in a populated world.

As a result, it is not always easy to make an informed choice as a visitor — especially when information about the recommended standards of care for different animals is hard to find.

To address this challenge, we have gathered advice from a range of experts around the world to help travelers make informed and responsible choices. Every few months, we will update this site to publish content from some of the leading voices in tourism, conservation, animal rights and sustainability, which we hope will better inform you before your next trip. You can view that content here:

For more information on organizations with expertise in the field of animal welfare and tourism, go here.

For frequently asked questions about animal attractions, go here.

How You Can Help

As a member of the global traveler community on TripAdvisor, you’re already one of the most powerful checks and balances in the tourism industry — and you can make a difference by writing about your experience when you review these attractions after your next visit.

If a zoo or aquarium is providing the highest standards of care for animals or doing important work in conservation, feel free to applaud them! Or if you feel like animals are being mistreated at an attraction, let others know. Your input can help to ensure that the tourism industry works collectively to improve the standard of care for animals, and possibly even influence changes to local laws on the topic.

The Five Freedoms – Best Practice Standards for Animals in Tourism

TripAdvisor supports the Five Freedoms originally developed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC 1979), and applied to tourism by ABTA – The Travel Association in the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism. In recent years, ABTA’s efforts to improve the standard of care for animals worldwide have resulted in the development of standards that, in our view at TripAdvisor, should be baseline expectations for any attraction that features wild animals or endangered species in tourism.

The ABTA Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism state that animals must enjoy the following basic freedoms:

  • Good Feeding. Animals must be free from prolonged hunger or thirst.
  • Good Housing. Animals’ living environment must provide ease of movement for its inhabitants, as well as comfortable areas to rest and temperatures that are suitable for their needs.
  • Good Health. Animals must be free from injury or disease, and must not be subjected to pain for any reason other than their own medical care.
  • Freedom of Expression. Animals should display a positive emotional state, good relationships with their human carers, and be able to express behaviors that are natural to them.
  • Protection From Fear. The animals must be free from fear, distress and apathy. They should have the ability to seek privacy and refuge away from humans, and be free from any surgical or physical modifications resulting from anything other than genuine medical treatment.

Contact Us

TripAdvisor has already stopped selling tickets to hundreds of attractions that violate our new animal welfare policy.  If you see an attraction experience being sold on TripAdvisor that you believe is in violation of policy, please let us know by emailing awpolicyreview@tripadvisor.com