Thailand debuts elephant-friendly tourism

Thailand debuts elephant-friendly tourism

It’s only Tuesday, but already our week has been made.

Conversations around ethical animal tourism hit a fever pitch last week, and are seemingly having a ripple effect globally.

Happy Elephant Care Valley, in Chiang Mai, Thailand is about to embark on a landmark agreement to transition to become a truly elephant-friendly venue.

This move will end all contact between tourists and elephants at the camp, to meet the growing demand for responsible elephant experiences.

This is really good news for all of our Elephantidae friends everyone.

The transformation of the venue is pioneered by animal welfare charity, World Animal Protection as part of a coalition of leaders in the travel industry, including TUI Group, The Travel Corporation, Intrepid Group, G Adventures, EXO Travel, Thomas Cook Group, and others.

Elephants in many venues across Thailand still offer rides that are the result of elephants suffering a cruel and intensive training process.

A 2017 KANTAR global study showed the number of people who find elephant riding acceptable has dropped by 9 per cent (from 53 per cent to 44 per cent) in just three years.

The research also showed that eight out of ten (80 per cent) of tourists would prefer to see elephants in their natural environment, proving elephant-friendly tourism is on the rise.

The elephants at Happy Elephant Care Valley were previously from farms and riding camps, and until recently it was possible for close interaction between tourists and the elephants, being able to ride, bathe and feed elephants at the venue.

This stopped when the travel industry coalition presented a business case demonstrating the rise of elephant-friendly tourism.

The transition will see the elephants free to behave as they would in the wild; free to roam the valley, bathing in mud, dust, water or grazing as tourists experience the wonder, standing at a safe distance.

World Animal Protection CEO Steve McIvor said, “With the support of the world’s leading travel companies, this agreement is a significant milestone for World Animal Protection.

“It will show that high welfare venues for elephants can be commercially viable for elephant camp owners – encouraging them to value and care for their animals.

“Happy Elephant Care Valley is a ground-breaking development for both elephants and tourists.

“It will be a very real example of an attraction where tourists can see elephants behaving naturally and freely as part of a herd.

“It will demonstrate that elephant-friendly experiences are possible, without forcing cruel interactions with people.”

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

    Latest comments
    1. Not one single autopsy show elephant rides as a reason for death, or likewise for any elephant during the last 100 years. The film about abusive elephant training falsely referred to as “Phajaan” is ONE single film made some 20 years ago, by the very lady who earns + US$ 10, 000/day from visitors to the previous potato plantation outside Chieng Mai, which laymen obviously think is some sort of nature jungle. The same ignorant laymen who cant tell the difference between animal welfare and animal rights activism. Meanwhile, when the animal rights activists managed to make people believe that elephant riding is bad for elephants, no attention is given to the fact that over 50% of elephants in Thailand are in captivity, and that the Kui peoples efforts of captive breeding are very important for the future of the species, and their income is from riding. Some 10-20 “elephant sanctuaries with hardly no breeding, around Thailand, will never be able to compensate, should the Kui people resign from their traditions, captive breeding and traditional management of elephants. What is happening now in Thailand, may serve a limited group of people, but may, in the end, have a very negative impact for the Asian elephant in regard to species conservation. !oo years ago, white missinaires, far away from their home countries and convinced by their religion and idealogoes, destroyed cultures of people. If we dont learn from such mistakes, the present fanatic activists may very well achieve similair results with their propaganda. I can understand that money talk, espciellay for travel torism. Still, I cant see any harm in consulting professional educated people connected to nature conservation, and ask for their second opinion, before taking for granted that all those thousand of keyboard hackers fanatics, really are the experts on elephants, they claim to be. Unfortunately a lot of things in this world are much more complax than the present low mark fairy tale, green and good-doing ideologies represent.

Chiang Mai elephant ethical thailand

Latest News

  • Events

“Ghost in the Rocks” – Australia’s first Halloween festival

The Rocks will be transformed into a ghost town from Thursday, 31 October to Sunday, 3 November with Australia’s first Halloween festival – Ghost in the Rocks. The new festival is set to put Sydney on the Halloween map as the creative minds behind Mov’in Cinemas, Bastille Festival, and Xmas in July present Ghost in […]

  • Hotels

Radisson Hotel Group brings world-class hospitality to Cagayan de Oro

The Radisson Blu Hotel and Residences, Cagayan de Oro – the city’s first 5-star hotel – is the next stylish upper-upscale property from the Radisson Hotel Group. The 717-key project is set to become a new landmark for the coastal city of Cagayan de Oro, in the Northern Mindanao region of the Philippines. It features […]

  • Events

Brisbane Festival 2024 returns from 30 August

Experience a rich tapestry of culture, celebration, and community throughout the city as the Brisbane Festival 2024 returns from 30 August to 21 September. The fifth program from artistic director Louise Bezzina invites guests to experience the pinnacle of artistry with world premieres, Australian exclusives, Queensland commissions, and Brisbane spotlights across 23 days. Tt brings […]

  • Aviation
  • Destinations

Singapore Airlines to launch flights to Beijing Daxing from November

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced a new daily route between its capital city hub and Beijing’s Daxing International Airport. The flights are set to begin operating from 11 November 2024 assuming there are no complications with regulatory approvals. Located in the south of Beijing, the airport gives customers convenient access to the Beijing, Hebei, and […]

  • News

Touropa adds European river cruises to product offering

Touropa, the flexible coach touring company, have announced an exciting extension of its travel program to include more than 100 European River Cruise departures. Touropa, a collaboration between Sun Island Tours and Europamundo Vacations, is a global touring provider renowned for its extensive range of flexible and affordable travel options, and this expansion is aimed […]

  • Events

Christmas in July 2024 program

Save yourself a flight to the UK for a wintery Christmas and jump on the Hume Highway down to icy Canberra.

  • Hotels

Opening of Argini Hotel in Syros Greece

Located in cosmopolitan Vaporia in Ermoupolis, Syros, the Argini Hotel has opened its doors at the world’s second most welcoming city for 2024. Built in 1853 to house the family of Gregoris Paikos, a leading figure in the Greek Revolution, Argini Hotel was renovated with ethos, modern artistry, and utter respect to its neoclassical history. […]

  • Food & Beverage

Nobu Bangkok the World’s Highest Nobu Restaurant at EA Rooftop at The Empire

Nobu co-founders Hollywood star Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, plus eponymous chef Nobu Matsuhisa have visited EA Rooftop at the Empire ahead of the official launch of the world’s highest Nobu restaurant in the heart of Bangkok. With unparalleled dining experiences with breathtaking panoramic views of the Bangkok skyline and the Chao Phraya River, […]

  • Hotels

Nesuto celebrates five years of success with five five-night stay vouchers competition

Nesuto is offering guests the chance to win one of five five-night stay vouchers that can be used at any Nesuto apartment or apartment hotel across Australia and New Zealand as part of its 5th anniversary celebration. Guests and team members are invited to contribute to a digital time capsule that captures their favourite memories, […]