Global movement grows: more than 160 travel companies commit to be elephant friendly

10/03/2017

More than 160 travel companies have committed to stop selling elephant rides and shows – a huge step forwards in our movement to stop these beautiful wild animals being used for entertainment.

We want to work with tour operators who are going the extra mile and helping transform existing venues into humane, elephant-friendly sanctuaries where animals who cannot be released back into the wild are free to roam, forage and socialise naturally.

Behind the elephant rides and performances at many tourist venues, there is a hidden story of trauma and abuse. World Animal Protection has engaged tour operators around the world to draw attention to this cruel reality as part of our Wildlife. Not Entertainers campaign.

To date, more than 160 travel companies have agreed to stop offering travel packages that include cruel elephant entertainment like rides and shows. Among these are popular New Zealand brands such as You Travel, House of Travel, Intrepid Travel and World Expeditions.

“The industry is catching up with public opinion,” said Ben Pearson, Senior Campaign Manager, Australia & New Zealand, World Animal Protection. “The vast majority of tourists think the mistreatment of wild animals for entertainment is unacceptable."

“Leading travel brands prioritise animal protection. We want to thank all the industry players who have decided there is no place for elephant cruelty in their travel packages.”

Because the worst of the cruelty often goes on behind the scenes, it can be hard for tourists to assess whether a venue is mistreating elephants.

“Some cruel attractions market themselves as sanctuaries,” said Ben. “This can be confusing for travellers trying to do the right thing. So tour operators have a huge role to play in ending the demand. In order to curb the cruelty, they must end the availability of these attractions.”

World Animal Protection is also working to identify and partner with tour operators who take active measures towards managing elephant welfare and conservation.

“We want to work with tour operators who are going the extra mile and helping transform existing venues into humane, elephant-friendly sanctuaries where animals who cannot be released back into the wild are free to roam, forage and socialise naturally.”

Despite this huge step forwards, there are still travel companies yet to commit to ending elephant rides and performances.

Show your support to keep elephants and other wild animals where they belong – in the wild. By curbing the demand for elephant rides and shows, you can help to encourage more companies to join the elephant-friendly movement.

See the full list of elephant-friendly travel companies around the globe.