Ben Ittensohn, global head of sales Explore!; Cindy Bakewell, The Private Travel Company; Cherie Bowman, Linblad Expeditions Ben Ittensohn, global head of sales Explore!; Cindy Bakewell, The Private Travel Company; Cherie Bowman, Linblad Expeditions

Adventure World for ‘animal warriors’

The role responsible tourism can play in the preservation and well-being of wildlife populations around the world was highlighted by Adventure World Travel at a trade function in Auckland late last week.

Neil Rodgers, managing director Adventure World, says the operator (part of The Travel Corporation and The TreadRight Foundation) has a new relationship with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. ‘When an agent books a Malaysia or Indonesia tour, we will adopt an orangutan on the client’s behalf. The client will receive all the communication from the foundation and a certificate to say they have adopted the orangutan.’ This is in addition to existing relationships, such as with Wildlife SOS India, Wilderness Foundation Africa and Proyecto TIT South America. Rodgers says the trade evening, which also included presentations from Explore! and Linblad Expeditions, emphasised the animal populations that benefited from tourism activity. ‘Many of these animals were seen as pests but now they are regarded by the communities as assets.’

He says that having relationships with these areas also allows Adventure World to ensure responsible activities are taking place. ‘We are working closely with World Animal Protection. They identified places where people were removing sloths from the trees and putting bows around their necks, then taking photos of them with tourists. We will no longer visit those areas until the practice stops.’ Rodgers says AWT also discovered that one of the bear lodges in Canada was luring bears to the vicinity with cakes. ‘So we immediately did a stop sell. That’s a powerful tool.’ Cherie Bowman, of Linblad Expeditions, highlighted the new ship coming on line – National Geographic Endurance. The polar focused vessel will make its first exploration on 3 April – Arctic Svalbard in Spring is a wildlife focused trip. Ben Ittensohn, global head of sales at Explore!, informed agents of the operator’s 100 wildlife themed trips in the seven continents. He also gave an overview of some of Explore’s best selling trips – Jordan, Costa Rica, Botswana and Madagascar.

 

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