Tour OperatorsIntrepid marks World Elephant Day with its version of True Confessions

Time to own up about your animal indiscretions

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Intrepid has added new elephant-friendly venues on its South-east Asia tours.
Intrepid has added new elephant-friendly venues on its South-east Asia tours. Photo Credit: Be-Intrepid
Intrepid has launched a travel confessions campaign urging agents to admit their ‘responsible travel mistakes’ in aid of World Elephant Day 2019.

If you’ve ever taken part in a tour activity involving animals and later regretted it, now is the time to confess.

Intrepid has launched a travel confessions campaign urging agents to admit their ‘responsible travel mistakes’ in aid of World Elephant Day 2019.

In 2014, Intrepid became the first travel company to scrap elephant rides from its trips and since then more than 200 other travel companies have followed suit.

The social media campaign will encourage the industry, influencers and consumers to share their confessions of activities they have done in the past while travelling that we have since learned are harmful, such as riding elephants or holding a tiger cub, using the hashtags #Stopelephantrides and #WorldElephantDay.

Intrepid’s senior team have shared their own travel confessions. James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel, said, “You’re not alone if you’ve ever ridden an elephant – I did in Thailand in 2004.

“This isn’t about reprimanding anyone who has ridden an elephant in the past - we’ve all made mistakes.  We’ve come a long way in the last five years, but there is plenty more that can be done.

“It’s vital that we keep the conversation going and continue to educate travellers about ethical animal tourism.”

Ben Pearson, head of Campaigns Australia at World Animal Protection said, “This World Elephant Day we want to remind travellers that you can see elephants in an ethical way. There are many organisations that allow visitors to see elephants in a humane and natural environment.

“At genuinely elephant-friendly venues, tourists are not in direct contact with elephants, and instead, get to watch them move freely.

“If you can ride or touch an elephant, or watch it perform, chances are the elephant has been subjected to cruel training and is living in poor conditions. See them in the wild where they belong."

Meanwhile, Intrepid has added new elephant-friendly venues on its South-east Asia tours, giving travellers more opportunities than ever to experience the animals in an ethical way.

From 2020, customers on Intrepid’s Laos trips will witness elephants roaming and swimming in their natural habitat at MandaLao, the first non-riding elephant sanctuary in Luang Prabang.

The venue, home to 11 elephants and 11 mahouts, works closely with World Animal Protection to not only promote ethical animal care and educate tourists, but also provide jobs and training in the local community.

Intrepid’s non-profit The Intrepid Foundation is raising funds to help the organisation build a new night enclosure with mahout housing.

In Thailand, travellers will visit ChiangChill, an organisation that supports the protection, conservation and lifestyle of free roaming elephants in the area.


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