Animal Vacation Experiences!

Animal Vacation Experiences
Animal Vacation Experiences!
Help rescue the lost dogs of Chernobyl, skateboard with a world record-winning Bulldog, or paddle-board alongside a Corgi with Airbnb’s new animal-focused experiences

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Goat yoga, anyone? From paddle-boarding with a Corgi (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) to tea with naughty sheep (Loch Lomond, Scotland), Airbnb now offers the opportunity to get to know over 300 species in unique ways with people who care for their welfare. Dog-focused experiences include an animal communication workshop in Snowdonia, UK, or even the opportunity to help rescue puppies lost within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Hosted by locals, these experiences allow guests to learn from the people who work and live alongside animals, including biologists, conservationists, farmers, and more.

What you won’t find? Experiences where you can kiss a dolphin or ride an elephant. Guests meet animals in places that allow for gentle observation and bring a sense of connection far beyond animal selfies or performances—“an antidote to typical tourist attractions that are notorious for ethical concerns,” says the company.

To ensure interactions are respectful and responsible, Airbnb’s animal policy was created with World Animal Protection, an international welfare organization committed to creating a world free from animal cruelty.
 

“We’ve seen that Airbnb Experiences with animals are consistently popular with our guests,” says the company. “In our top 25 markets, experiences including animals are over 33 percent more likely to be highly occupied than the average experience.”
 

“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 a setting that respects their well-being,” said Alesia Soltanpanah, Executive Director World Animal Protection.

The reception so far has been “fantastic,” says Airbnb. One customer favourite is Hike Runyon Canyon With a Rescue Dog (Los Angeles, CA). Along with exercising and socializing the rescue dogs, guests take photos of them to help publicize their cases. Some dogs have even found forever homes with participants. The photos are used to help bring in donations for the pups' care and generate adoption interest. Along the way, guests take in some of the best sites, including the famous Hollywood sign. The payment for this experience is a donation to the animal welfare non-profit, helping pay for the care of the very dogs guests will be walking. 

“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 travelers are just a few clicks away from being alongside them in the real world.”
 

Considers the Animal’s Welfare First: World Animal Protections’ Guidelines for Respectful Animal Interactions:

1. Wild animals: there should be no direct contact including, but not limited to, petting, feeding, or riding animals

2. Working animals: maximum one rider and never more than 20% of the animal’s weight, never to be overworked

3. Marine mammals: should never be in captivity for entertainment

4. Businesses: should not feature elephant rides, big cat interactions, illegal wildlife trade, sporting events such as canned and trophy hunting, or animals performing for entertainment

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