Travel Companies Have an Amazing Opportunity to Rebuild the Tourism Industry to Be More Resilient and Responsible

Elephant rides, tiger selfies, walks with lions, monkey shows, swimming with dolphins–each "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for a tourist means a lifetime of suffering for animals.

COVID-19 has challenged us to create change. The pandemic has shone a harsh spotlight on how people treat wild animals. The catastrophic impact of wildlife exploitation has impacted our health, economies, planet, and the travel industry, in addition to causing the suffering of millions of animals worldwide. We cannot go back to what once was.

60% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic (originate from animals), with over 70% of these are thought to originate from wild animals. The demand for and exploitation of wild animals exposes us to diseases like COVID-19, putting us all at risk.  

As a member of the travel industry, you can help prevent another pandemic, secure your livelihoods and help keep wild animals in the wild by becoming a wildlife-friendly travel company. This involves phasing out wildlife entertainment from your supply chain and offering responsible tourist experiences instead.

Elephants in water in Kindred Spirit Elephant Sanctuary

Rebuilding the industry, for good

How you can help rebuild the tourism industry to be more responsible, meet customers’ needs and help end captive wildlife entertainment?

Elephant rides, tiger selfies, walks with lions, monkey shows, swimming with dolphins–each "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for a tourist means a lifetime of suffering for animals.

As travelers are becoming more aware of the cruelty involved in these and other wild animal experiences, their attitudes are changing dramatically.

Increasingly, travelers are choosing holidays based on how animal-friendly they are:

  • 87% believe wild animals belong in the wild where they can live naturally
  • 85% would prefer to see animals in the wild
  • 81% think people should not make an income from keeping wild animals if the animals suffer

As a responsible leader in the travel industry, we know you want to adapt to continue to provide meaningful customer experiences.

It can be hard to tell what's truly wildlife-friendly in tourism, let alone how to incorporate this into a business, which is why we are here to help.

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Change is possible

With help from us and some leading travel companies, elephant venue ChangChill–formerly Happy Elephant Valley–has become elephant-friendly and stopped visitors directly interacting with its animals.

ChangChill, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, started its journey towards becoming truly elephant-friendly in 2017. Now it’s reopened its doors, offering a better life for elephants and a unique experience for visitors without the inherent cruelty of direct interactions.

The transition allows the six resident female elephants the freedom to roam the valley, graze, and bathe in the river, mud, and dust while socializing with each other.