Animal Welfare Policy

ToursByLocals was founded on the principle of socially conscious travel. Our mission has always been to find the best guides in every location in the world and to help them be successful participants in their local tourism industry.

We work every day to connect guides with travelers who choose to spend their money in a way which benefits the communities they visit when they travel.

Our travelers value their power as consumers to make informed and responsible decisions when traveling, and this consideration also extends to the animals impacted by worldwide tourism.

ToursByLocals has created its own Animal Welfare Policy in order to help guides continue to provide unique, 5-Star tour experiences whilst also avoiding activities which may encourage harmful or irresponsible behavior to animals.

ToursByLocals now requires guides to take special consideration when planning a tour which involves any kind of interaction with animals, this includes:

Tours which include viewing or interacting with animals in the wild or in captivity
Tours which include visits to animal habitats or any type of animal enclosure (such as zoos, aquariums, farms, sanctuaries)
Tours which include transportation involving animals

The following Animal Welfare Policy outlines forms of animal tourism which ToursByLocals considers to be incompatible with our approach to socially conscious travel:

Our Policy

The activities described below should NOT be included in any ToursByLocals tour itinerary:

Viewing animals in the wild…

   when the animals have been lured closer for entertainment (such as for photo opportunities, rides, shows or tricks).
   unless at a respectful and safe distance so as not to disrupt natural behaviours (this includes also keeping drones at a respectful and safe distance).

Viewing and interacting with animals in enclosures (such as zoos, aquariums, farms, sanctuaries, etc)…

   which hold wild animals (such as elephants, big cats, whales, dolphins, porpoises, monkeys, etc).
   which are run solely for profit.
   in which animals are used for entertainment (such as for photo opportunities, carriage rides, shows, sporting events or tricks).
   in which animals are bred in captivity unless for the purposes of being responsibly released into the wild.
   unless the facility exists to rescue/rehabilitate animals (i.e. where the animals were sick, injured, orphaned, donated or abandoned when they arrived) and the facility holds appropriate credentials/permits/licenses.

Interacting with animals in the wild…

   this includes touching, petting, feeding, riding, chasing or disturbing animals.

Any type of hunting…

   unless sustainable fishing with appropriate local licenses obtained.

Consumption of meat or products derived from endangered animals.

Using non-domesticated animals as transportation…

   this includes riding, sitting on or travelling by any non-domesticated / wild animals (such as elephants, ostriches, big cats, dolphins, etc).
If a tour does necessitate riding, sitting on or traveling by domesticated animals (such as horses, camels, etc) the guide must confirm that the animals are kept in acceptable conditions and the facilities/providers hold appropriate licences.

ToursByLocals encourages guides and travelers to contact our support staff if they have any feedback, questions or concerns regarding a ToursByLocals tour that may not be compatible with our approach to socially conscious travel.