Three prominent travel companies in China are the first in the country to take a stand against animal tourism ‘torture.’
Beijing-based Caissa Touristic said it will stop marketing elephant rides and elephant entertainment shows across Asia, including Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
According to the company’s assistant president Ge Mu, about 100,000 tourists partake in elephant tourism activities or watch shows each year, and accounts for 40% of all tourism programmes in Southeast Asia.
Travel websites fxtrip.com and zanadu.com also promised to sell only ‘elephant-friendly’ tours
Elephants ‘suffer from multiple forms of torture’ due their daily schedule serving tourists, said Zheng Yu, wildlife campaign manager at World Animal Protection.
A recent World Animal Protection report said the number of elephants used for entertainment purposes for tourists in Thailand has risen by about 30%.
Globally about 160 tourism companies have so far stopped offering elephant tourism programmes and one-off elephant attractions.