Stringent measures needed or wildlife tourism to face extinction

Stringent measures needed or wildlife tourism to face extinction
By admin


A need to develop better guidelines around wildlife tourism has been highlighted by leading tourism companies at World Travel Market in London this week.

"We are breeding less elephants a year than are being killed," Africa's Finest's, Colin Bell said at a panel discussion at the conference, ETN reported.

"Yet the tourism industry has numbed us to what is going on out there."

According to Bell, much of the funding for terrorism in Africa – from Al-Shabaab to the Lords Resistance Army – is linked to poachers, and the scale of poaching has reached such levels the industry needs to address the situation or risk losing potential tourism revenue derived from wildlife sightseeing.

“Africa could lose much of the very wildlife that tourists come to see within 20 years,” Bell warns.

Bell insists the tourism industry needs to channel funds toward wildlife protection across Africa and has proposed a 1% tariff to fund the cause.

"Are we going to be the saviour, or are we going to be the destroyer?" Bell asked crowds attending the session at WTM.

Meanwhile, ETN reports Intrepid Travel’s Geoff Manchester highlighted the issue of riding captive elephants, saying the company had ceased to offer any “elephant rides” after being alerted to the situation.

"The reality behind elephant riding is that an elephant's spirit has to be crushed," Manchester said.

Manchester said since the company’s ban in May, the topic has been the most discussed on their social media channels, and had “positive impacts on the company's brand”. Manchester said travellers who want to view the animals should instead visit the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand as it is a “better experience for tourists that is also better for elephants”.

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