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Sustainable Travel

SmarterTravel’s New Animal Attraction Coverage Policy

We’re proud to align with the new policies of our sister sites TripAdvisor and Viator, and to no longer report on tourism experiences where travelers come into physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species, including but not limited to elephant rides, “swim with” programs where tourists touch or ride on dolphins, and the petting of captive wild or endangered species.

The policy includes several exemptions, including:

  • Domestic animals, e.g. horseback riding, children’s petting zoos with domestic animals like rabbits, etc.
  • Aquarium touch pools used for education purposes where tourists are under the supervision of zoo, aquarium, and or wildlife officials
  • Feeding programs where tourists are under the supervision of zoo and or wildlife officials
  • Voluntourism programs for endangered species preservation at zoos, aquariums, or sanctuaries where it is possible that there might be some level of physical interaction with an animal

 

 

 

 

 

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at editor@smartertravel.com.

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