AZA News Releases

AZA Statement on Expedia Announcement

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Yesterday, online travel company, Expedia, Inc., announced plans to better educate travelers about animals in tourism. Expedia also announced it had reviewed its products that involve animals and made the important decision to remove elephant rides as well as those involving direct tourist contact with tigers or other big cats. In response to Expedia’s announcement, Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), released the following statement:

“The animal encounters for which Expedia discontinued sales today are ones that will not affect AZA members. In fact, AZA members do not participate in either of those activities. All AZA-accredited facilities follow strict standards regarding public interaction with animals, and AZA stands behind all animal encounter programs at its member facilities. Like Expedia, AZA believes all animal encounters are not the same. We encourage the public to visit AZA-accredited aquariums, nature centers, science centers, and zoos to see for themselves the difference first-hand.”

You can learn more about AZA’s accreditation standards at its website:

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

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