Tourism

Travel associations urged to “step-up” and prevent wildlife cruelty in tourism

Shocking new research has revealed a majority of the world’s travel trade associations are doing nothing to prevent wildlife cruelty in tourism.

The research, which was commissioned by World Animal Protection, shows just 21 of the 62 travel trade associations researched had a page on their websites about sustainable tourism and of the 21 associations, only six communicate anything at all about animal welfare.

This is particularly shocking considering the industry’s recent pushback against cruel wildlife tourism practices, with many operators now choosing not to offer activities that promote cruel practices such as elephant riding or dolphin swims.

Alarmingly, 16 associations in both their literature and on their websites featured promotional pictures of wild animals, in many cases being cruelly used to interact with tourists.

According to Wolrd Animal Protection, more than 550,000 captive wild animals worldwide, including elephants, sloths, tigers and dolphins endure appalling cruelty for tourist entertainment.

For most wild animals, the cruelty involves being snatched from the wild; ‘trained’ with beatings, living in severely inadequate conditions, being chained and isolated. These wild animals are forced to have contact with people, often causing them psychological trauma.

There are also major health and safety risks to tourists participating in wild animal attractions –  In Thailand alone,17 fatalities and 21 serious injuries were reported in venues with captive elephants in Thailand between 2010 and 2016.

“This is a systematic problem that needs to be addressed to ensure wild animals are not used for cruel tourist entertainment,” said Nick Stewart, Head of Wildlife Not Entertainers at World Animal Protection.

“Travel associations must step up, take action and commit to protecting wildlife.

“Following these research findings, we hope that travel associations will review their animal welfare guidelines. These associations must listen to their members and use this as an opportunity to lead the travel industry to fully commit to protecting wildlife.”

World Animal Protection is calling on travel associations to set strong animal welfare guidelines for members and to monitor these to promote animal-friendly tourism.

They would also like to see associations categorise elephant-riding and all other direct interaction between wild animals and tourists, and any forced performance with wild animals, as unacceptable.

There is a growing movement demanding wild animals are no longer used in entertainment.

Over 1.6 million people and over 200 tour companies have signed World Animal Protection’s animal-friendly travel pledge, and travel companies committing to stop selling or promoting venues that offer elephant rides and shows.

This signals there is a demand to phase out cruel wildlife attractions, like elephant riding, dolphinariums, and tiger selfies.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Wholesalers

Big fat wholesaler wrap

There are only two things we like about Mondays: the wholesaler wrap and looking at all the pretty photos in the wrap instead of doing any work.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Visitors to Maria Island asked to stop taking wombat selfies

Frightened wombats on Maria Island are being chased around by tourists with selfie sticks, and if that’s not the most heartbreaking thing you read today we can’t imagine what will be.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Australian woman who overstayed Thai visa by 100 days to be sent home

An Australian woman is soon to arrive home having been placed in a Thai detention centre for “massively” overstaying her visa.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid’s $1 deposit trips have returned!

This is the most exciting news we’ve received all day and we just found out the pizza place down the road is doing a two for one deal. So that’s saying something!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Research: Aussie travellers prioritising self-care and self-improvement trips

We’re practising self-care by making an avocado face mask and meditating for an hour. Just kidding, we’re going to eat guacamole and sip margaritas at knock-offs.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Eat your way through the globes healthiest national dishes

Personally, we’d prefer to eat our way through the world’s national desserts, but each to their own.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

PONANT now offers free unlimited WIFI on all ships

At Travel Weekly our WIFI is so limited we’ve employed an intern whose only job is to try and crack our neighbouring offices’ WIFI passwords.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Bunnik Group launches new small group brand

And what better way to kick off a new brand than by offering up to 50 per cent discounts? Well, besides free champagne and puppies but you can’t have everything.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I saw MH370 crash”: Fisherman claims to know coordinates of wreckage

The 42-year old said he saw the flight “move like a broken kite” but could not explain why it took him five years to come forward.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the week

Take a look at this impressive list of industry movers and shakers. The most impressive thing we’ve done lately is turning up to work on time.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Big Fat Agent Wrap

We’re so excited it’s Friday we’ve poured ourselves a glass of the semi-stale bubbles in the fridge. Here’s hoping it doesn’t give us alcohol poisoning.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Malindo Air cabin crew alleged to have carried $21 million worth of drugs into Australia

Eight people have been arrested as part of a major drug bust which involved cabin crew from Malaysia’s Malindo Air.

Share

CommentComments