TripAdvisor must check out of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

As Israel steps up construction of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), in brazen defiance of international law, Amnesty International is calling on TripAdvisor to urgently remove its listings in settlements and send a clear message that it will no longer contribute to human rights violations.

On June 25, Amnesty International submitted a petition to TripAdvisor’s CEO Stephen Kaufer, signed by more than 300,000 people from around the world, calling on the company to pull out of illegal settlements. The company has not responded to Amnesty International’s requests for comment.

“Israeli settlements violate international law and amount to war crimes. Companies which operate in the settlements are contributing to human rights violations and tacitly supporting Israel’s policy of forcing Palestinians out of their homes and crushing their basic rights,” said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Earlier this year the United Nations published a database listing more than 100 companies with business links to settlements, including TripAdvisor. Listed companies which continue their involvement in settlements are knowingly breaching their international obligations to “avoid causing or contributing to adverse human rights impacts through their own activities and address such impacts when they occur”.

Amnesty’s research shows that the tourism industry plays an important role in driving settlement expansion by drawing in visitors who boost their economies, and by legitimizing and normalizing the existence of settlements. TripAdvisor is the most visited online tourism website by foreign visitors to Israel, and it promotes at least 70 places to stay or things to do in Israeli settlements.