All-inclusive holiday resort operator, Club Med, will cease promotions of guest excursions and local attractions at its resorts globally which involve harmful or exploitative involvement of animals which will take effect from next month.
As part of its sustainability and conservation efforts, the company has pledged to stop promoting activities including elephant rides, exhibitions involving captive whales and dolphins, bullfights and photo opportunities with restrained or sedated animals.
Further, the company will also implement a fur ban in its on-property retail outlets and no longer recommend desexing or spaying procedures in countries with large populations of homeless animals. Advice will even be provided to guests on how to deter mosquitos rather than killing them.
However, Club Med says it will continue to promote attractions involving animals that are kept in natural habitats or environments, such as elephant watching in sanctuaries and open sea observation of cetaceans.
The company said it can be difficult for some of its guests to discern and distinguish positive animal interactions and encounters from those more negative and harmful.
“Animals have an important place in tourism and contribute to the attractiveness of many destinations,” the company said.
“At Club Med, we are aware of this wealth and are attentive to the expectations of our customers, who want to experience the wilderness and beauty of nature.”
The move by Club Med has been welcomed by animal rights body PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which said it urged other travel providers to follow Club Med’s lead and begin their own journeys into the world of animal protection.
“Unlike Club Med’s happy travellers, animals used for entertainment never get a chance to relax or share special moments with their loved ones,” said PETA Vice President of International Programmes, Mimi Bekhechi.