Two Scandinavian tour operators to stop offering elephant rides in vacation packages

November 14 2014

Scandinavian tour operators, Lotus Travel and Albatros, will no longer offer elephant rides or other wild animal attractions to customers as a result of our animals in entertainment campaign.

Elephant rides, swimming with dolphins, selfies with tigers - might seem like the experience of a lifetime for the unsuspecting animal-lover. But behind the scenes is a hidden depth of animal cruelty and suffering. That's why we've launched our animals in entertainment campaign.

Along with making tourists aware before they book, we are working with tour operators across the world to help reduce demand for wild animal attractions, so that wild animals animals can stay in the wild and cruel animal attractions can end once and for all.

In 2013, a number of Dutch operators stopped offering elephant rides on their holidays. Soon after, the Australian travel agency Intrepid and STA Travel in the USA did the same.

And now, after discussions with World Animal Protection, two Scandinavian tour operators have followed suit. Albatros and Lotus Travel have decided they will no longer offer elephant rides or any other kind of wild animal entertainment as part of their holiday packages.

Lotus Tour Manager, Linda Svensson, said: “Now that we know more about elephant rides and what the animals have to undergo, it feels totally natural to remove them from our trips and introduce an animal welfare policy.”

Cæcilie Willumsgaard, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Albatros Travel said: “Albatros Travel wants wild animals to be experienced in the wild. It is our responsibility as a tour operator to secure animal welfare – for elephants as well as other animals.

"We want to put pressure on all tour operators to distance themselves from unnatural behaviour such as shows and riding."

To find out how you can be animal-friendly on vacation, download our guide.

Image: Asian elephants at Pinnawela orphanage in Sri Lanka (Julie Middelkoop).

"It is our responsibility as a tour operator to secure animal welfare – for elephants as well as other animals"