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 take the lead on developing sustainable tourism and helping ensure the world’s beauty remains 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 easy access to fresh water and an appropriate diet to maintain full health and energy.

  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 providing access to veterinary care.

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

  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment that won’t lead to mental suffering.

With the above in mind, Booking.com will not work with properties offering or promoting the following experiences as part of their 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 their 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- and dolphin-watching tours

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

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