Adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has joined the Coalition for Ethical Wildlife Tourism, to play its part in ending the suffering of wildlife for the entertainment of tourists.
The move is the newest in the company’s ongoing drive to deliver ethical wildlife experiences across its product range, following on from the 2014 removal of elephant rides from its program and the 2015 release of its industry-leading Animal Welfare Code of Conduct.
The Coalition’s main objectives are to demonstrate a strong demand and support for venues considering becoming Elephant-Friendly (observation only) and for those which already are and, secondly, to drive industry standards and government policies and legislation that better protect the welfare of animals and preservation of wildlife through tourism.
According to World Expeditions Responsible Travel Manager, Donna Lawrence, the travel industry has the potential to influence demand for wildlife entertainment by removing support of venues which treat their animals cruelly and supporting those venues that meet animal welfare standards.
”We believe we can be most effective when we partner with organisations which have the expertise to advise us on industry best practice,” Ms Lawrence said.
“Our animal welfare policy was developed in conjunction with World Animal Protection and our acceptance into the Coalition for Ethical Wildlife Tourism is a result of our collaboration with them,” she said. “More than 500,000 wild animals worldwide, including elephants, sloths, tigers and dolphins, are suffering for tourist entertainment, with unwitting tourists visiting facilities which keep these animals in captivity.”
As well as World Animal Protection, World Expeditions collaborates with other expert organisations to develop its industry leading responsible travel practices and policies. Partner organizations include ReThink Orphanages, 10 Pieces, South Pole, Leave No Trace, and the International Institute of Peace through Tourism.
World Expeditions’ sustainable travel practices are explained in its ’Thoughtful Traveller Guidebook’, which is available to download for free here