New industry event to promote ethical elephant tours


A new ecotourism event, Elephant Travel Mart 2018, is aiming to bring together ethical elephant tour operators and tour agencies in Chiang Mai on December 14.

The event, taking place at Khum Kan Toke, Chiang Mai, is jointly hosted by Save Elephant Foundation and Asian Elephant Projects.

The event is the brainchild of Lek Chailert, who aims to create more ethical elephant programmes

Elephant tourism has long been associated with Thailand by travellers from around the globe and helps to attract millions of visitors to the country each year.

However, there has been a growing trend away from traditional forms of elephant tourism (such as elephant riding and circus shows) towards ethical elephant tours offering programmes that are sustainable and make the well-being of elephants a priority.

A key goal of Elephant Travel Mart 2018 is to provide a venue for people to gather and discuss how the travel industry can continue to adapt to respond to this trend and better meet the shifting demands of travellers.

Save Elephant Foundation’s Lek Chailert, who conceived of the event, commented: “If ethical tour operators using environmentally sound practices and tour agencies work together in response to the demand for sustainable ecotourism in Thailand, a mutually beneficial relationship can be achieved that will create widespread benefits for the elephants, the environment, small communities and the Thai economy.”

At the event, there will be 30 booths representing the Saddle Off projects promoted by Asian Elephant Projects.

In the evening, dinner will be served and entertainment provided by Thai stars including Rose Sirinthip, Baitoey R-Siam, King The Star and Bow Benjasiri. There will also be a lucky draw, followed by a closing address by Prayat Vorapreecha, honorary counsellor of Save Elephant Foundation.

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