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Culture & Design

This Nonprofit Is the Conscience of a $120 Billion Travel Industry

Airbnb is working with nonprofit experts at World Animal Protection to make sure wildlife tourism is good for everyone.

Hamish the sheep attends a tea party in Scotland.
Hamish the sheep attends a tea party in Scotland.

Source: Airbnb

In early October, Airbnb Inc. made a splash with a cheeky video of a fluffy white sheep stealing food from a Scottish tea party. It was the announcement of “Airbnb Animal Experiences,” a project highlighting roughly 1,000 opportunities around the world to observe or interact with wild and domestic creatures. Apart from being easier to locate and book, the activities are now also vetted to meet strict ethics guidelines—and, in most cases, highlight the responsible handlers, farmers, researchers, and conservationists who follow those best practices.

Of course, cuteness is still front and center. Besides Hamish, the “naughty” sheep in the video, there’s Mr. Beaches, a corgi who joins paddleboarding trips in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; a herd of donkeys offering “hug therapy” at an animal sanctuary in Spain; and Tabu, one of six tigers and dozens of other large cats that were born in captivity and re-homed at a 93-acre animal rescue center in Southern California.