Tour Operators TripAdvisor stops selling many animal attractions, including dolphin swims By Michelle Baran / October 12, 2016 Share 1 Photo Credit: Shutterstock -- TripAdvisor on Wednesday said that it would stop selling hundreds of attractions in which tourists come into physical contact with captive wild animals. The website sells hundreds of thousands of attractions to travelers, and of those, thousands involve animals in some way, according to Brian Hoyt, senior director of corporate communications for TripAdvisor. Of those involving animals, hundreds will be impacted by the new policy, such as elephant rides, the opportunity to pet tigers and swimming with dolphins.TripAdvisor will continue to sell attractions that involve domesticated animals, such as horseback riding and children’s petting zoos; aquariums that have touch pools used for educational purposes; feeding programs where tourists are under the supervision of zoo and or wildlife officials; and voluntourism programs in which the volunteers work with endangered species at zoos, aquariums or sanctuaries.TripAdvisor discontinued selling some attractions immediately, and the remaining changes will be fully implemented by early 2017.Also by early 2017, TripAdvisor plans to launch an education portal that will be linked to every animal attraction listing on TripAdvisor that will provide information about animal-welfare practices, and “enable travelers to make more informed booking decisions and improve the standards of animal care in tourism worldwide,” the company said in a statement. The new policy and portal were “designed as a means to do our part in helping improve the health and safety standards of animals, especially in markets with limited regulatory protections," stated Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor’s president and CEO. “At the same time, we want to celebrate those destinations and attractions that are leaders in caring for animals and those in the tourism industry who help further the cause of animal welfare, conservation and the preservation of endangered species.”According to advocacy group World Animal Protection, the decision came six months after World Animal Protection launched a petition urging TripAdvisor to take action, and more than 558,000 supporters around the world called upon TripAdvisor to stop profiting from the sale of wildlife tourist attractions.TripAdvisor is the latest company that has decided to stop offering certain animal encounters.For years, TripAdvisor has prohibited the listing or publishing of reviews for businesses that used captive wild animals or endangered species for blood sport, such as bullfights and captive hunts. That policy still stands.