TripAdvisor's Alliance With PETA Deserves A One-Star Review

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After months of negotiations with the radical activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), TripAdvisor no longer sells tickets to certain attractions that involve interactions with animals, including dolphin swims and elephant rides. Pressured by PETA, TripAdvisor won't let you pet a tiger when you visit Thailand. What's next on the chopping block: Horseback riding and bird-watching?

See the absurdity for yourself:

Why the outrage? In recent years, PETA has become intensely radicalized, caring less about promoting “ethical treatment” and more about discouraging human contact with animals altogether.

Ingrid Newkirk, the president and co-founder of PETA, claims that her group's ultimate goal is “total animal liberation”—in other words, the abolition of zoos, aquariums, and circuses. PETA also opposes medical research that requires the use of animals, even research meant to cure deadly illnesses. As Newkirk puts it, “Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we would be against it.” (Ironically, PETA has killed roughly 35,000 animals at its headquarters in Virginia.)

Now PETA is turning its attention to the “enslaved” animals on TripAdvisor's website while the company plays the role of willing accomplice. According to TripAdvisor President and CEO Stephen Kaufer,

We believe the end result of our efforts will be enabling travelers to make more thoughtful choices about whether to visit an animal attraction and to write more meaningful reviews about those attractions.

They sure need “more meaningful reviews.” You've heard about fake news, but how about fake reviews?

On TripAdvisor, a Scottish homeless shelter was given five stars, in case you wanted to visit the homeless on your next family vacation. A fake restaurant topped Italy's rankings. A closed Tunisian hotel received a top award—after a terrorist attack. That's right - the Riu Imperial Marhaba in Tunisia earned TripAdvisor's coveted Traveler's Choice award (“the highest honor TripAdvisor can bestow”) only months after an ISIS gunman killed 38 people at the hotel and its beach. The company later retracted the award, mirroring the time it was forced to remove 280 fake reviews from one British restaurant after they had destroyed the business.

In 2015, undercover researchers found that TripAdvisor posted three fake businesses in addition to 18 reviews for those non-existent destinations. According to the Daily Mail's Mark Palmer, the company has “no way of proving how many of its reviews are genuine and how many are the work of fraudsters with axes to grind or hoteliers blowing their own trumpets."

Not surprisingly, TripAdvisor’s stock price has tanked in recent months. It currently hovers around $44 a share, down from $71 per share last July. For Mr. Kaufer, there’s a lot more to worry about than dolphin swims and elephant rides.

TripAdvisor just earned a one-star review.

View Comments(6 comments)
Jeff(2 likes)As a big animal lover I agree with some of PETA's goals but some things are best for them to stay out of their business.  I agree Trip Advisor has bigger problems then those created by PETA.  Let them go after real animal abuse, whaling, Japanee dolphin killing, etc.  
Lucy PostThis piece was written by a front group for the meat industry, which has long tried to smear PETA and other animal protection groups in an attempt to distract from the real issues. See Unlike the industries this group represents--which kill animals painfully, so they can make money by selling their flesh--PETA is a shelter of last resort for animals who need euthanasia to end their suffering (many of whom have been rejected by “no-kill” shelters because euthanizing them would make the shelter’s “numbers” look bad). This includes dogs who are aggressive and unadoptable because they have been kept chained their entire lives; feral cats dying of contagious diseases; animals who are wracked with cancer; elderly animals who have no quality of life and whose desperate guardians brought them to PETA because they can’t afford to pay a vet to euthanize them; and the list goes on. Euthanasia is a kindness for animals who are suffering beyond hope and have nowhere else to turn. PETA refers healthy, adoptable animals to local shelters and has also found excellent, lifelong homes for many animals themselves. Please watch this short video to see some of the animals PETA has helped in its community:    8
Jennofur OConnorI applaud TripAdvisor, as does anyone who cares about animals.  Exploiting dolphins in "swims," elephants for rides and tiger cubs in despicable photo-ops should be condemned by everyone with a conscience.