We join forces with TUI Care Foundation to build a happier future for 1,500 elephants in South Asia

July 05 2017

Our partnership will help protect Asian elephants exploited to entertain tourists. TUI Care Foundation is owned by TUI, the world’s largest travel company. Its decision to help elephants through funding and by inspiring change, is proof the industry is stepping up for wildlife welfare

Elephant rides and shows are inherently cruel and stressful for the animals involved. Sadly, many tourists continue to visit attractions exploiting elephants in this way.

Currently, more than 3,000 elephants suffer to entertain tourists in Asia.

Through our Wildlife. Not entertainers campaign, we work tirelessly to educate and inform tourists to make better decisions for animals when on holiday.

Our partnership with TUI Care Foundation will allow us to further strengthen this work, and will protect up to 1,500 elephants by 2020.

The foundation will fund vital projects promoting and supporting humane, alternative elephant venues, such as genuine sanctuaries.

The partnership will also allow our voice for elephants to reach more people, and inspire them to protect wildlife rather than exploit it.

Promoting elephant-friendly venues

There are currently only a small number of elephant tourist venues in Asia which don’t exploit their elephants. With TUI Care Foundation, we’ll support these elephant-friendly venues, so tourists can see elephants without harming them.

We’ll work closely with the travel industry and policymakers to define minimum welfare requirements for elephant venues, and give recognition to those offering genuinely higher welfare for elephants.

The project aims to increase tourist demand for genuine elephant-friendly venues over cruel attractions. Resources will be provided to help existing elephant venues to transition to high animal welfare standards.

While focused mainly on Thailand, the country with the most captive elephants in tourism, the initiative will also work in Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka. 

Expanding its support for elephants

This isn’t the first time TUI has taken a stand against elephant cruelty.

In 2010 TUI Netherlands became first travel operator to stop all sales and promotions of venues offering elephant rides and shows.

In just seven years we have inspired 166 travel companies to do the same.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the TUI Care Foundation, Thomas Ellerbeck, said: “In the tourism industry, we have seen positive change towards the protection of elephants as well as a growing interest for further information from tourists.

“Tourism can be a driving force for positive change, and we are proud to work with World Animal Protection to support an elephant friendly future in South Asia.”

Our CEO, Steve McIvor, explained: “Alternative travel options are available and public demand for elephant rides is slowly changing, but there is still work to be done. Many tourists see elephants as the highlight of their holiday. However, this wish often stems from a lack of awareness of the abuse involved. As soon as they become aware of the suffering caused by elephant rides and shows, their enthusiasm quickly wanes.”

We recently launched a new way that you can help protect elephants who suffer to entertain tourists. Take a our pledge to Unite for the herd and together, we can show the industry just how many people won’t stand for elephant cruelty in tourism.

Take the elephant-friendly pledge

"Tourism can be a driving force for positive change, and we are proud to work with World Animal Protection to support an elephant friendly future in South Asia."

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