Animal-friendly travel campaign wins at World Responsible Tourism Awards

November 05 2014

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a Gold Award for ‘Best Animal Welfare Initiative’ at the World Responsible Travel Awards

The Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to 'celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry'.

A new category for this year, the 'Animal Welfare Initiative' is awarded to organizations which display ‘the latest innovation, thinking and leadership in ethical approaches to animal welfare, proven achievements in addressing the unethical treatment of animals in tourism, and long-term visions for the future.’

Our Animal Friendly travel campaign focuses on ending the demand for harmful wildlife attractions, by raising awareness of the suffering inflicted on wild animals in the name of tourist entertainment.

We are also putting in place long term solutions that deal with the root causes of suffering, working hand in hand with local governments, partners, the travel and tourism industry, local venues, and local people to ensure their long term success.

Responsible Travel says, 'Having spent the last 50 years campaigning and, in many cases, winning, to protect both wild and domestic animals worldwide from mass culling, the horrors of so called entertainment such as bear baiting, or the damage caused to marine life from discarded fishing gear, [World Animal Protection] is now hitting the tourism industry directly. 'Through its Compassionate Travel campaign it is reaching out to international bodies to put a stop to the unnecessary use of wild animals in tourism.' Julie Middelkoop, Programs Manager for World Animal Protection Netherlands, says: 'This World Responsible Tourism Award for Best Animal Welfare Initiative is proof that there is momentum for animal welfare in the tourism industry."

'More and more, tour operators are engaging with us, asking for our expertise and as a result, are taking real steps to improve the lives of animals. In particular, the lives of elephants are being improved as tour operators stop advertising elephant rides and shows.

'We want to work across the world both within and outside the tourism industry to make a difference for all wild animals, especially for those exploited only for our entertainment. We would also like to congratulate the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA), our joint winners for the award.

Find out more about our animal-friendly travel campaign and how you can help.

Image: A male long-tailed macaque in the wild in Malaysia (iStock. by Getty Images)

"This World Responsible Tourism Award for Best Animal Welfare Initiative is proof that there is momentum for animal welfare in the tourism industry."
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