City Discovery, the Paris-based online-seller of tours and activities, has announced the removal from sale of a wide range of sightseeing activities and tickets for attractions that feature cruelty to animals. The company said it was responding to calls by World Animal Protection, the global animal welfare organization.
City Discovery's CEO, Emmanuel Issaurat, said the online tours and activities sector had to show leadership on this important issue: "For too long we have hidden behind the argument that it's not up to us to make ethical judgements on behalf of our customers. That's a very weak argument; we should have our own standards and ethics, and naturally, they should be high. If we can do something to help these defenceless elephants, lions, tigers and dolphins, we must do it. Our only regret today is that we did not move earlier," he said.
The Company has also thrown down the gauntlet to its rivals in the online space. "The industry's biggest players -- Viator, Expedia and GetYourGuide -- must now move to follow our lead. They are certainly large enough to ignore the loss of revenue this decision will cause; we will now see if their management takes a decision based on what's right, rather than what's most profitable," said Issaurat.
About City Discovery
Based in Paris, France, City Discovery was established in 2003. It currently offers some 9,000 tours and activities in over 800 locations worldwide. It serves over 1 million end-user customers annually, and is the preferred tours, activities and ground transportation for Amadeus. Products are available via web and mobile apps, and in 18 languages.
Contact: Emmanuel Issaurat - + 33 6 74 37 88 89
Julie Middelkoop, Global Head of the Wildlife - Not Entertainers Campaign at World Animal Protections says:
“City Discovery’s decision to end the sale and promotion of cruel wildlife entertainment attractions is a fantastic result for animals. We hope other travel companies will follow their lead by reaching out to World Animal Protection to discuss how they can help to keep wildlife in the wild, where they belong.”
“Over 250,000 people have already signed our petition (hyperlink) asking TripAdvisor to stop the sale and promotion and instead help end suffering of wild animals used for tourist entertainment.
“Whether it’s riding elephants in Asia, walking lions in Africa or going to a dolphin show in the US – these seemingly harmless tourist attractions are far from it. Taken from their mothers when young, the animals are physically and psychologically abused and beaten into submission to give rides, perform tricks or pose for holiday ‘selfies’ with tourists.”