The Travel Industry And Responsible Tourism
The Travel Industry And Responsible Tourism – Chris Mercer of CACH discusses tourism and how you can make a difference. I know it’s tempting to pet a cub – or walk with a lion. But when you do – you are supporting a lion farmer who will allow that cub to be hunted and “slaughtered by bullet or bow” as soon as it is old enough. This – to satisfy the blood lust of a trophy killer. Travellers often make mistakes because they don’t understand the reality of irresponsible tourism. Thank you Chris Mercer for all that you are doing to help save South Africa’s remaining wild lions!
The travel industry is in a unique position to influence the behaviour of tourists. It can help to make tourist dollars a force for good in South Africa, by encouraging ethical spending. Unless civil society acts decisively to fill the void left by dysfunctional South African conservation structures, we are going to lose our wildlife heritage.
Most people now know how Lion farmers externalise the cost of rearing their cubs to “huntable” size by using the cubs for cub-petting and for Walk with Lions experiences.
You may not know too that South African lion farms are a massive and growing threat to the extinction of wild lions. Whistle blowers have come forward in Botswana, telling how they chase wild lion prides to the point of exhaustion, using 4 x 4 vehicles, and how they shoot as many adults as necessary in order to capture the cubs for sale to unscrupulous lion farmers in South Africa.
To connect the dots between cub petting, the lion bone trade and canned hunting watch this short (8-min) video.
There are plenty of ethical destinations in South Africa for you to promote. We believe that you have a moral responsibility to promote the welfare of the very animals on whom your business rests.
How To Tell If A Tourist Facility Is Actually A Lion Farm Posing As A Wildlife Sanctuary?
It is easy – if it is offering cub petting – then it is linked to canned lion hunting. Don’t be fooled. Check with us directly if you have any doubts.
What You Can Do If You Work In The Travel Industry
1. Email us for an e-copy of our flyer. Print it out and give it to any client who wishes to visit a cub petting park. This will explain to them exactly why they should only visit ethical resorts.
2. Ask your association to engage with us to agree on a Code of Practice that will reward ethical destinations and penalise facilities such as lion farms that pass themselves off as wildlife sanctuaries in order to attract tourists.
The stakes could hardly be higher. What we have lost is nothing compared to what we stand to lose. Let us join together and put a stop to canned lion hunting and at the same time help to save our wild lion populations from regional extinction.
Ask Yourself “Why” This Cub Would Not Be With His Mother And His Pride?