Travel organizations are coming together to help wildlife around the world. // © 2017 iStock
The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), American Society for Travel Agents (ASTA) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently announced that they have joined the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, a coalition that raises awareness about the dangers of wildlife trafficking and aims to stop consumer demand for endangered species products. ASTA, CLIA and ATTA will be providing members, such as travel agents, with resources that can be used to educate clients.
Why It Matters:
Wildlife numbers around the world are declining, in part due to illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking. As terrible as this situation is, the extinction of animals from the wild could also lead to a tourism decline in many areas around the world. Getting educated, and then encouraging clients to avoid purchasing illegal goods — such as furs, skins elephant ivory and rhino horns — is one way to safeguard the future of these threatened animals and their habitats.
- The announcement coincides with the launch of the Alliance’s “Know Before You Go / Ask Before You Buy” digital toolkit, a resource for travel and tourism industry leaders to use to engage travelers in the effort to stop the demand for illegal wildlife products.
- The toolkit includes infographics, pamphlets and public service announcements.
- ASTA, CLIA and ATTA will distribute educational materials to its members and encourage members to adopt policies in line with the Alliance’s mission.
What They Are Saying:
“It is exciting to see the U.S. travel industry step up and use their deep relationships with the traveling public to raise awareness about the global wildlife trafficking crisis and give unsuspecting travelers the tools to make good buying decisions,” said David J. Hayes, chair of the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance. “The Alliance applauds ATTA, ASTA, and CLIA for its socially responsible leadership, in concert with the non-profit and government sectors, in working to close down the illegal wildlife markets that are fueling the senseless killing of endangered species around the globe.”
“The travel and tourism industry has a unique ability to reach millions of people around the world and show them how they can be part of the solution to end wildlife trafficking,” said Zane Kerby, CEO of ASTA. “The Alliance toolkit gives industry leaders a step-by-step guide for educating travelers about the potential pitfalls they can encounter while shopping overseas. By buying informed, we can all work together to protect these treasured species for the benefit or our planet, our security, and future generations.”
“Our planet’s wildlife is disappearing at a devastating rate as poachers meet consumer demand for exotic wildlife products,” said Shannon Stowell, president of ATTA. “Much of this trade takes place abroad, where travelers may encounter unfamiliar objects and be unaware that they are contributing to the problem. By educating travelers and tour operators about what to watch for, commitments like these can ensure that consumers make educated purchasing decisions and help stop the demand for illegal animal products. This new partnership represents a natural extension of the work of the Alliance and our ongoing partnership with WWF to promote ecologically-friendly choices and raise public awareness.”