Tourism

The Travel Corporation’s 10 steps to being an animal-friendly traveller

Christian Fleetwood

Yesterday saw high-level representatives from UN member states and international organisations from around the world gather at the United Nations Headquarters to celebrate and appreciate the fragility and value of wildlife, in celebration of United Nations’ World Wildlife Day.

The commemorative event for the protection and appreciation of world wildlife celebrated sea life for the very first time this year under the theme ‘Life below water: for people and planet’, which aligned closely with UN Development Programme’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life below water.

Factoring into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is the need for the sustainable practice of tour operation, which involves travel that benefits its nation’s communities, respects and protects its wildlife, while remaining sustainable for future generations.

In 2018, The Travel Corporation (TTC) and its family of global brands around the world committed to eliminating all avoidable single-use plastics across all operations by 2022, helping to rid oceans of harmful plastic debris.

TTC’s family of brands, including Adventure World Travel, adhere to The TreadRight Animal Welfare Policy – a compact of rights for animals under human control that helps ensure that all experiences meet globally recognised animal welfare criteria, developed in partnership with World Animal Protection.

Following on from its commitment to reducing pollution, the corporation also came up with a list of 10 steps for agents to ensure that travellers’ journeys abroad remain animal-friendly:

  1. The best animal encounter is a wild one. View animals in their natural habitat, exhibiting natural behaviours, and do not initiate contact with them.
  2. Do not ride on the back of an elephant. To ‘train’ an elephant to accept riders, they are taken from their mothers at an early age and physically and mentally abused.
  3. Avoid aquariums or marine parks where large mammals like dolphins or whales are kept in captivity. Cetaceans are intelligent and far-ranging. These environments are unnatural and cause these animals stress.
  4. Do not support the illegal trafficking of animal products, by purchasing souvenirs made from wild animals such as fur, ivory, shells, seahorses, teeth, rhino horns and turtle shells.
  5. Never participate in cub petting or lion walking experiences. Many of the companies that offer these experiences breed their lions for the ‘Canned Lion Hunting’ industry.
  6. Do not attend festivals that subject animals to cruelty for entertainment, such as animal circuses, dancing bears, dog or cockerel fights, running of the bulls and any festival that causes suffering to animals.
  7. Don’t take a wildlife selfie if the animal is being held, hugged, or restrained, if you are baiting the animal with food or if the animal could harm you.
  8. Before riding on the back of a horse, mule or donkey, match your size to that of the animal and ensure your weight is evenly balanced when riding.
  9. Only visit and support animal sanctuaries and shelters involving wild animals in captivity if the objectives of the organisation are in the animals best interests (e.g. re-homing, rehabilitation or release in the wild); and
  10. Speak up!

“If you see an animal in distress make a note of the date, time and location as well as the type and number of animals involved. Take a photo and/or videos as proof,” said Neil Rodgers, managing director of Adventure World Travel.

PAGE 12 - SWIMMING WITH MEXICOS WHALE SHARKS
The Travel Corporation recommend only visiting animal sanctuaries if the objectives of the organisation are in the animals best interests (e.g. re-homing, rehabilitation or release in the wild).

Despite its critical importance, the ocean faces many threats, and among these is an area of primary concern for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): the unsustainable exploitation of marine life for international trade.

It is believed that over 30 per cent of commercially exploited marine fish stocks are over-fished, which is below the level at which they can produce sustainable yields. While over three billion people around the world depend on the ocean for their livelihood, some of the roughest estimates on the status of sea life place 40 per cent of marine environments in peril.

World Wildlife Day was an opportunity to raise awareness of the value of marine life diversity, the crucial importance of marine species to human development, and how travel operators could work to ensure the ocean continues offering life-changing experiences for future generations.

Ivonne Higuero, secretary-general of CITES, said: “We are all striving to achieve the same objective of sustainability: for people and planet – where wildlife, be it terrestrial or marine, can thrive in the wild while also benefiting people.

“We, here at CITES, will continue to work tirelessly to ensure international trade in CITES-listed marine species is legal, sustainable and traceable for people, planet and prosperity.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Aviation

‘People like you are paedophiles’: Drunk passenger abuses Qantas cabin crew on Singapore flight

by Christian Fleetwood

We’ve reported on some pretty out there drunken airline rampages but this is definitely one of the most bizarre.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

IATA releases 2018 airline safety performance

by Christian Fleetwood

Off the back of an awful year for air travel, the International Air Transport Association has released its annual safety performance data.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

Be taken aback by Albania’s cringe-worthy new tourism campaign

by Christian Fleetwood

Travel Weekly staff were taken aback this morning upon learning Albania is using the film Taken to promote itself as an “incredibly safe place to visit”.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australia bans travellers with domestic violence convictions

by Ali Coulton

Need a good news fix among all the disasters and tragedies of the last week? This should do the trick.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Boeing quietly launches the world’s longest plane, amid MAX 8 debacle

by Christian Fleetwood

Amid the ongoing international drama surrounding its MAX 8 aircraft, Boeing has unveiled its latest, largest and most efficient long-haul carrier jet: the 777X.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Here’s how to give your client a tour guide in their pocket

by Ali Coulton

Audio-guiding company Vox has mapped 20 cities to bring you the ultimate add-on for your clients. We chatted to their CMO to get the low-down.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld Business Travel supports Royal Flying Doctors outback trek

Helloworld Business Travel member Digby Warren will be setting off for the 10th time this June on The Outback Car Trek to raise funds for the RFDS.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline wrap: more London flights for Emirates, Singapore dabbles in wellness cuisine + more!

Travel Weekly strongly condones the food focus of this week’s Airline Wrap. In fact, our support is so strong we’ve chosen to take an extra lunch break today.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Opinion: agents who blend tech and the human touch will win

by Champa Magesh

Seeing as high-tech robot travel planners are still a glint in their inventor’s eye, Amadeus’ Champa Magesh suggests agents should combine their expertise with some high-tech gadgets.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

TUNE IN: Intrepid showcases Japan on Sunrise

We haven’t been awake in time to watch breakfast TV since 1997 but for this, we might consider making an exception.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tour operator releases private Game of Thrones adventure

by Christian Fleetwood

GoT fans can frolic through King’s Landing while they eagerly await the final instalment of the iconic TV show. And by frolic, we mean ogle the filming locations where their favourite characters were killed off.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism

Wholesalers

“Our purpose is ever more clear”: G Adventures’ Bruce Poon Tip reflects on Christchurch massacre

Messages of support have been flowing in from around the world in the wake of the Christchurch shooting. Read the heartfelt letter from G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip here.

Share

CommentComments