This week, travel and accommodations platform Airbnb donated $100,000 to animal-rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to support its efforts to end animal exploitation in the tourism industry. “Airbnb is committed to promoting responsible animal tourism, and this support is provided in recognition of PETA’s ongoing work to protect animal welfare and all of PETA’s innovative and effective programs to advance empathy and end animal suffering,” Airbnb Experiences Policy Director Natalia Merluzzi said. “Airbnb is showing tourists how to avoid abusive wild-animal attractions and forge an animal-friendly travel future,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said. “PETA looks forward to putting Airbnb’s generous donation to good use and is calling on others in the hospitality industry to follow the company’s lead in promoting humane tourism.”
Earlier this month, Airbnb unveiled “Airbnb Animal Experiences,” a new program designed with the help of animal-rights group World Animal Protection. The program aims to connect travelers to animals through more than 1,000 different experiences crafted using the company’s new stringent animal-welfare standards that are based on “The Five Freedoms,” the guiding principles of animal welfare that ensure animals are free from hunger or thirst; discomfort; pain, injury, or disease; fear and distress; and are allowed to express normal behavior. Its new policies effectively ban experience hosts from promoting marine parks such as SeaWorld, roadside animal attractions, horse and dog racing, cockfighting, and other activities that exploit animals for entertainment.