Today, we’re unveiling Airbnb Animal Experiences – a brand new category of Airbnb Experiences that allow people to better understand animals through caring, expert hosts and set a new standard for animal tourism. With 1,000 Experiences co-hosted by over 300 species and their human advocates, guests can now paddleboard with corgis, kayak with conservationists, learn alongside urban beekeepers, or even skateboard with a world record-winning bulldog.
Airbnb Animal Experiences offers a fresh new way to connect with animals near and far, so that even busy urbanites can reconnect with the natural world through hiking with rescue dogs, chilling out with alpacas or cuddling cows. Guests will meet animals in places that allow for gentle observation and bring a sense of connection far beyond animal selfies or performances. For those seeking more adventure, guests can even help rescue puppies lost within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, or even take discover arctic foxes.
At Airbnb, we envision a world where everyone can belong anywhere, providing healthy travel that is local, diverse and authentic. Today, we extend our passion for belonging beyond mankind, committing to protect the welfare of animals across any Experience that features them. Joining more than 40,000 Airbnb Experiences available across 1,000 cities worldwide, Airbnb Animal Experiences are underpinned by a new, industry-leading animal welfare policy, backed by World Animal Protection. Ranging from afternoon tea with naughty sheep to multi-day safaris, Airbnb Animal Experiences are hosted by caring experts as an antidote to typical tourist attractions that are notorious for ethical concerns.
Beyond helping people get to better understand animals and meet them in a new way, over 100 Airbnb Animal Experiences are Social Impact Experiences, cementing our commitment to animals in the long-term by directing all proceeds from bookings to nonprofits. Supporting causes such as conservation, animal rescue, and veterinary care, these Experiences help scale impact, foster empathy and include playing with rescued horses, seeing released macaws up close and spending a day with donkeys.
Other notable Airbnb Animal Experiences have been brought to the platform through a partnership with The Dodo, the world’s number one media brand for animal lovers. Fan-favorite Dodo stars and the humans who love them will host an array of exclusive activities including sunset hikes with Penni the Dog, a park picnic with Pickles the Pig, and a driving tour with rescue dogs.
“With technology taking up so much of our lives, it’s easy to feel disconnected from nature and animals,” said Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO and Co-Founder. “Maybe this is why social media is dominated by animal memes. Life is better with animals, but for many busy people, looking at them through a screen is the closest they can get. With Airbnb Animal Experiences, locals and travellers are just a few clicks away from being alongside them in the real world, and unlike many interactions out there, in a responsible way.”
“We know people love animals and want to see and experience them when they travel, but we also know they most want to see animals in their natural setting in a way that considers their well-being,” said Alesia Soltanpanah, Executive Director World Animal Protection. “This new animal welfare policy created in consultation with our animal welfare experts and the creativity and dedication of Airbnb will ensure that adventurers have many options to experience the beauty of animals in a way that considers their welfare first.”
Airbnb Animal Policy Highlights
We are the first major booking platform to offer a dedicated category of animal experiences underpinned by a progressive new animal welfare policy, co-authored with World Animal Protection. New highlights include:
- Wild animals: there should be no direct contact including, but not limited to, petting, feeding, or riding animals
- Working animals: maximum one rider or 20% of the animal’s weight, never to be overworked
- Marine mammals: should never be in captivity*
- 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
World Animal Protection will continue working with Airbnb on its approach to animal welfare based on the latest evidence and research.
*except for certain instances when rehabilitation efforts are conducted under the supervision of a validated nonprofit organization. These exceptions are always approved by World Animal Protection
ANIMAL EXPERIENCES HIGHLIGHTS:
- Whale Watching (Bangkok, Thailand)
- Gibbon Research Assistant Experience (Phuket, Thailand)
- Tea with Naughty Sheep (Loch Lomond, United Kingdom)
- Puppy Picasso (New York, New York)
- Explore the Wildlife of the Hudson River (New York, USA)
- Meet the Dogs of Chernobyl (Slavutych, Ukraine)
- Picnic In The Park With Pickles (San Francisco, California)
- Cow Safari with Brianna & Winter (Wantage, New Jersey)
- In the Kitchen with Nala Cat (Visalia,California)
- A Day in a Gaucho’s Life in the Andes (Mendoza, Argentina)
- Discover Arctic Foxes (Sudavik, Iceland)
- New Zealand Getaway and Horseplay (Auckland, New Zealand)
- Urban Rooftop Beekeeping (Hamilton, Canada)
- Forest Fun, Hot Springs and Big Five (Nairobi, Kenya)
- Butterflies and Caterpillars Oh My! (Columbus, Ohio)
- Meet Life-Saving Animals (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
- See Released Macaws Up Close (Nosara, Costa Rica)
- Ultimate Cape Town Birding (Cape Town, South Africa)