BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): Klook, one of the leading online travel companies, has launched an animal welfare policy that will see it end the sale of circus-style performances involving elephants, dolphins and tigers, World Animal Protection reported recently.
The policy will come into effect by the end of October 2023, ramping up pressure for more travel companies to follow suit as travellers seek more cruelty-free travel options, the animal protection non-profit organisation said.
“We welcome Klook’s progress, and what is a good first step in implementing an animal welfare policy,” said Suzanne Milthorpe, World Animal Protection Head of Campaigns ANZ.
“We hope to see the company continue to move towards eliminating all cruel wildlife attractions from its platform, and work towards a fully responsible tourism future to give their customers peace of mind when booking with them,” she added.
Hathai Limprayoon, Wildlife Manager at World Animal Protection Thailand, said on Tuesday: “We support Klook’s move against tourism activities that feature direct interaction with elephants in Thailand.”
These activities include elephant bathing, feeding and riding, which have become increasingly popular among tourists visiting Thailand, she added.
Hathai cited a survey by Suan Dusit pollster in 2022 which found that 76% of elephant shows in Thailand are considered animal cruelty.
Several attractions in Thailand have featured animal shows to attract domestic and foreign tourists. These include elephant swimming shows at Lucky Beach in Phuket, dolphin shows at Dolphin Bay Phuket, and tiger shows at Tiger Park Pattaya in Chonburi and Phuket FantaSea theme park.