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Many of the oldest tourist claims in the world have animals as protagonists. Camels as porters, tigers at the service of instagrammers eager for selfies, elephants for tourists who want to be Tarzan ... are frequent examples in many corners of the world that, at times, create an uncomfortable dilemma for the responsible traveler and, increasingly, to The tourism giants.
If Tripadvisor has announced that it will stop selling tickets to those animal attractions that breed (or import) captive whales and dolphins, Airbnb has just launched a whole collection of animal experiences for travelers who are blessed by animal welfare policy dictated by the NGO World Animal Protection.
With a total of " 1,000 activities led by more than 300 species and their defenders," according to the platform, guests can now join paddle-board sessions with corgi dogs in Miami or tea time with Scottish sheep. If you want to meet Otto, a bulldog skater who is already a celebrity in Lima, you can also do it with a couple of clicks.
These experiences can last from an hour and a half to several days, and cost from 10 to 500 euros. They are available in 58 countries , including Spain, where we can visit an apiary and make a honey tasting in Torrelodones (Madrid), share a day with the donkeys of the sanctuary of Fuente de Piedra (Málaga) or whisper to the horses in Barcelona.
They are a novel way to connect with animals all over the world, so that even the most extreme urbanites can rediscover nature. They also guarantee travelers a respectful observation of the species and allow them to develop connections with them beyond taking the picture of rigor. For the more intrepid there are also strong experiences, such as helping to rescue lost pets in Chernobyl (Ukraine) or even discovering the Arctic fox in Iceland.
"We know that people love animals and want to see them when they travel, but we also know that, mainly, they want to see them in a natural environment that respects their well-being," said Alesia Soltanpanah, executive director of World Animal Protection.
The new animal welfare policy created in collaboration with the experts of this group and Airbnb implies that in their experiences there will be no deliberate direct contact with wild animals in nature, such as petting, feeding or riding them. Animals may also not be mounted by a person and the transported weight may not exceed 20% of the animal's weight. In addition, marine mammals should never be in captivity.
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