Fails Wildlife

The Real Responsible Traveller is severely failing wildlife. is one of the world's largest online travel agencies with over 400 million users worldwide and was one of the core targets of our Real Responsible Travel campaign. describes itself as 'Your trusted trip companion' yet causes unimaginable suffering to wild animals including dolphins, elephants, primates and big cats by selling attractions that exploit wild animals for entertainment...

How is failing wildlife

We chose to focus on four species categories - dolphins, elephants, primates, and big cats, as well as a general section encompassing all other wild animal species. These animals were chosen due to their complex ecological, social and behavioural needs, their high levels of sentience and their common use in tourism entertainment.


How is failing dolphins

The main concern for marine mammals, like dolphins, is the artificial and baron nature of their captive environment. No facility can replicate the vast reaches of the ocean that these animals traverse.

How is failing big cats

Exploiting big cats for tourism leads to severe restrictions on their welfare. These animals typically needs large areas of land to roam and have complex behavioural needs that are difficult to address in captivity.

Depriving them of the large home ranges and social structure they need often makes them behave abnormally. Interactions with tourists can further increase stress, which can lead to more behavioural abnormalities and reoccurring health issues.

How is failing elephants

Venues offering any type of visitor interaction with elephants are likely to be associated with cruel practices and unnecessary suffering. Activities such as petting or riding elephants require the trainer to establish dominance, and this often requires painful or traumatic training techniques.

How is failing primates

Primates are incredibly intelligent animals and are hard to keep stimulated in a human environment. They are likely to become bored and frustrated, which leads to psychological problems and abnormal behaviour like self-mutilation. In addition to poor mental welfare, these attractions put primates at physical risk. Non-human primates are susceptible to human diseases and contact with tourists puts them at risk.

Unfortunately, most people who seek out captive wildlife experiences are unaware of the cruelty involved in keeping these animals captive and, frequently, the interactions they are forced to endure.

Captive wild animals are not able to fully engage in natural behaviours, impacting both their physical and psychological welfare. Wild animals are sentient beings that experience positive feelings and emotions such as contentment and joy, as well as negative ones such as pain, fear, boredom and frustration.

Read the full report

Updates became a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, with the company publicly celebrating its commitment to becoming a more responsible travel operator. However, the focus of their current commitment revolves around carbon offsetting, and there is no mention of any intention to review their wildlife entertainment offers.

Stay tuned to our tourism page as we persistently strive to overhaul these travel giants and advocate for ethical practices.