UN World Tourism Organisation urged to create a better future for animals
Animals must not be forgotten in the UN’s plan for rebuilding tourism
the transition to wildlife friendly tourism is not only better for both animals and people, it is integral to the secure and sustainable future of the global tourism industry
The World Tourism Organisation is the United Nations (UNWTO) agency responsible for the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism.
As the world recovers from the global Coronavirus crisis, they have put forward new recommendations for rebuilding the tourism industry. However, we were disappointed to see there was no mention of wildlife-friendly tourism.
Irresponsible wildlife tourism is a risk to humans
Wildlife tourism accounts for up to 40% of all tourism globally. Many of these attractions rely on keeping wild animals in captivity to be handled, posed with, ridden or used as performers. Given the connection between wildlife exploitation and emerging infectious diseases (such as Covid-19), phasing them out should be a key consideration for the rebuilding of a more resilient industry.
Animals suffer every step of the way
Wild animals exploited as tourist entertainment attractions live a life full of suffering and deprivation. This includes big cat petting and feeding experiences, any close-up selfie with a wild animal, swimming with dolphins, riding elephants or handling animals such as sloths, civet cats, primates, and turtles.
The complex needs of wild animals, whether they are captive-bred or wild-caught, can only be fully met in their natural habitat.
Elephants in Changchill, a higher welfare venue in Thailand
Building a better future
We wrote an open letter to the UNWTO urging them to call for all captive wildlife entertainment to be completely phased out of the global tourism industry.
We believe that the transition to wildlife-friendly tourism is not only better for both animals and people, it is integral to the secure and sustainable future of the global tourism industry. This will:
Minimise the risk of future pandemics
Protect the health of tourists and tourism workers