TTC teams up with World Animal Protection to phase out elephant rides & support animal welfare

TTC teams up with World Animal Protection to phase out elephant rides & support animal welfare

TORONTO — The Travel Corporation is doing its part to save the world’s animals by partnering with World Animal Protection.

Through this partnership, TTC’s family of brands, which includes Contiki and Trafalgar, will help improve the lives of animals everywhere it travels to. World Animal Protection has worked with the company to reshape its experiences to be more animal-friendly, as well as support the phase-out of cruel activities such as bullfights, captive whale and dolphin attractions and, most significantly, removing elephant rides and shows from their trips in Thailand.

“At TTC and our not-for-profit The TreadRight Foundation, we recognize the immense potential the travel industry has to change the world for the better and we can do that with the valuable guidance of leading organizations like World Animal Protection,” said Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, The Travel Corporation and Founder, The TreadRight Foundation.

This past September in Bangkok, World Animal Protection brought together TTC and other leading global travel companies including TUI Group and EXO Travel to meet with representatives of elephant riding camps across Thailand. They demonstrated a shift in consumer demand for elephant-friendly tourism, and encouraged local camps to phase out rides and shows and transition instead to elephant-friendly venues.

Many tourists from around the world visit Thailand to see elephants but increasingly, these travellers are beginning to understand the lifetime of psychological and physical trauma elephant rides and shows cause. A 2017 survey shows a significant 9% drop (to 44%) in the number of people who find elephant riding acceptable compared to just three years ago. The research also shows that more than 80% of tourists would prefer to see elephants in their natural environment.

“Attitudes are changing as travellers are learning more about the fear, pain and suffering elephants undergo to make rides and shows possible”, said Steve McIvor, CEO, World Animal Protection. “Travellers are increasingly demanding options that better align with their values. With the help of global travel partners like TTC we can prove that elephant-friendly attractions, those without forced and dangerous interactions with wildlife, make both ethical and financial sense for local venues. The direction of sustainable tourism is clear.”

TTC and more than 180 other global travel companies have agreed to no longer offer visits to venues with elephant rides and shows in any of their markets. As well, in 2016, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site announced they would stop selling tickets to experiences where tourists have direct physical contact with captive wild animals or endangered species.

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