Booking.com Animal Welfare Standards for Accommodation Partners

Our mission at Booking.com is to empower people to experience the world. We believe this should be done with respect, humility and awareness for the world’s people, animals, communities and the environment. As an industry leader, we have a responsibility to also take the lead on developing sustainable tourism and helping ensure the world’s beauty is left for future generations to experience.  

We take our lead on animal welfare from the Five Freedoms for the basic needs of animals under human care:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst through ready access to fresh water and an appropriate diet to maintain full health and vigour.

  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by treating animals respectfully, ensuring qualified animal management and access to veterinary care.

  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, an environment resembling the animal’s natural habitat, and allowing for species-specific social behaviour.

  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.  

With the above in mind, Booking.com will not work with properties that offer or promote the following experiences as part of the room rate:

  • Direct interaction with wild animals of certain species*

  • Animal performances, shows and circuses involving wild animals of certain species*

  • Animal fights of any kind (e.g. bear-baiting, crocodile/alligator wrestling, cockfights, bullfights)

  • Animal racing of any kind (e.g. horse racing, greyhound racing, ostrich racing, rodeos, elephant polo)

  • Trophy hunting, canned hunting and sport fishing of any kind

  • Wild animal rides (e.g. elephant riding, ostrich riding)

  • Visits to aquariums with captive whales and dolphins

  • Visits to facilities where wild animals are purposely bred to produce commercial products, including: Crocodile farms, Civet coffee farms, Bear bile farms, Turtle farms, Tiger farms, Snake farms.

  • Visits to venues where visitors can purchase products sourced from wild animals (e.g. turtle shells, turtle meat, snakeskins, crocodile heads)

*Where ‘wild animals of certain species’ is mentioned, this applies to:

  • Dolphins (including orcas), whales and porpoises

  • Elephants

  • Bears

  • Big cats (including but not limited to lions, tigers, leopards and cheetahs)

  • Orangutans and other primates

  • Sloths  

Booking.com will work with partners who offer or promote the following experiences as part of the room rate:

  • Visits to animal sanctuaries and shelters whose objectives are in the animals’ best interest

  • Visits to zoos and aquariums that are members of an accredited body (e.g. WAZA, EAZA or AIZA) and comply with our standards

  • Visits to venues where visitors can observe wild animals in a (semi-) natural environment

  • Responsible eco-tours with a focus on education

  • Responsible whale-watching and dolphin-watching tours

  • Responsible wildlife safaris – spotting wild animals in their natural habitat

  • Rides on or interaction with domesticated animals (e.g. horse riding), so long as providers comply with our standards