Ever wondered how it would feel to go hiking with rescue dogs, chilling out with alpacas or simply cuddling cows? It’s now possible to have not just those unique animal tourism experiences but also form some special connections along the way. Animal Experiences, a new category introduced by Airbnb, sets a new standard in animal tourism by allowing people to better understand animals with help from expert hosts.
“With technology taking up so much of our lives, it’s easy to feel disconnected from nature and animals… 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,” said Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-founder, Airbnb.
There are more than 40,000 Airbnb Animal Experiences available across 1,000 cities worldwide, so you are spoilt for choice. Busy urbanites can choose from experiences co-hosted by over 300 species and their human advocates. They can meet animals in their natural habitat and have options of learning the art of horse whispering, paddleboarding with corgis and kayaking with conservationists. They can also closely watch urban beekeepers and skateboard with a world record-winning bulldog. Those seeking more adventure, can help discover arctic foxes or rescue puppies lost within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.
Ranging from afternoon tea with naughty sheep to multi-day safaris, Airbnb Animal Experiences are hosted by caring experts as an antidote to typical tourist attractions that are notorious for ethical concerns.
“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. “This new animal welfare policy created in consultation with our animal welfare experts combined with the creativity and dedication of Airbnb will ensure that adventurers have many options to experience the beauty of animals in a way that considers their welfare first.”