Whale in the wild, USA

World Animal Protection and Airbnb

Making animal welfare a priority within sustainable tourism 

Airbnb is a US-based travel booking platform with over 7 million unique accommodation stays in 191 countries around the world. The company envisions a world where everyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, diverse, and authentic. On top of its vacation home rental business model, Airbnb launched Experiences in 2016, a program that includes 40,000 handcrafted activities and focuses on providing customers with exciting, local adventures. Since World Animal Protection and Airbnb commenced their partnership in 2019, Airbnb has prioritized animal welfare across its company and highlighted our mission within the sustainable tourism landscape.

How we work together 

Airbnb worked closely with World Animal Protection to create its first-ever Animal Welfare Policy to ensure the safety of animals at the venues hosted on its platform. This co-created policy protects the welfare of animals around the globe and highlights include: 

  • Wild animals: there should be no direct contact, including but not limited to: petting, feeding, and riding animals 
  • Working animals: maximum one rider and never more than 20% of the animal’s weight, never to be overworked 
  • Marine mammals: should never be kept in captivity for entertainment purposes 
  • Broader host business: should not feature elephant rides, big cat interactions, illegal wildlife trade, sporting events such as canned and trophy hunting, animals performing for entertainment 
  • Responsible travel: no wild animals as selfie props or any negative training techniques 

Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder Brian Chesky says, “With technology taking up so much of our lives, it’s easy to feel disconnected from nature and animals,” which is one of the main reasons for Airbnb to create this expansion. Its ultimate goal is to offer consumers a fresh new way to connect with animals near and far so that even busy city dwellers can appreciate nature and animals.” 

Why we have partnered

Airbnb’s commitment to making animal welfare a top priority moves us closer to a future that will not only educate travelers on the importance of cruelty-free animal tourism but will also encourage other companies to follow suit.

Both organizations want to see an end to wild animals being used in entertainment. Many people are not yet aware that an experience they view as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity can mean a lifetime of suffering for the animals involved. If you can hug, ride, touch, or take a photo with a wild animal, it is very likely there is cruelty involved.

World Animal Protection will continue to work closely with Airbnb and its network of hosts to ensure the well-being of animals in all of the Experiences on Airbnb as well as educate travelers on animal welfare within the tourism industry.