Intrepid Travel has teamed up with World Animal Protection (WAP) to encourage the industry to rebuild in a more ethical way.
The two are seeking to provide tour operators with an Animal Welfare Policy Toolkit that is customisable and free for download from Intrepid Travel’s website.
The toolkit includes steps that can be taken to become wildlife-friendly, including information on how to draft an animal welfare policy for travel companies, and a full editable animal welfare policy that is modelled off of Intrepid’s.
The toolkit also provides contact details for WAP in case you need additional support such as resources to help educate customers or staff.
“The COVID-19 crisis has provided our industry with an opportunity to redefine what tourism looks like once travel resumes and to use this time to forge a new path for a more responsible, sustainable and ethical future,” said James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel.
“We must put real action behind our words, and as operators who facilitate experiences all around the world, it is our responsibility to protect the environment and all of its living species.
The very least we can do is ensure our practices are not causing harm to the wildlife who call the destinations we visit home.”
According to WAP, up to 550,000 wild animals are currently enduring lifetimes of suffering at tourist entertainment venues globally.
Activities such as riding elephants, taking photos with tigers, lion walks and dolphin performances are examples of popular tourist attractions that can cause lifelong trauma for wild animals.
The impact of COVID-19 has made the situation even worse, with at least 85 elephant camps in Thailand that were forced to close as a result of the pandemic.
World Animal Protection launched an appeal to help some of these venues. With this support, the venues can at least feed and take care of their elephants during the next couple months.
To download the Animal Welfare Policy Toolkit, go HERE.
Featured image source: iStock/MaZiKab