Responsible Tourism: 7 Tourist Activities with Animals to Avoid

Responsible Tourism: 7 Tourist Activities with Animals to Avoid

Let’s talk about Responsible Tourism?

When we visit destinations with beautiful natural landscapes that are incredibly pure and dense and where wild animal life abounds in all different forms, it is often a desire to want to interact with these animals, living an experience that never happens. would have, were it not for this trip. The opportunity to spend some moments of closer proximity with animals that are normally out of our reach presents itself as a temptation that is difficult to resist.

But what travellers usually forget is that this direct interaction with wild animals is anything but innocent and doesn’t quite make up for the short moments of happiness they offer us. In fact, this direct contact with animals gives rise to very serious consequences for their natural balance, causing damage that often proves to be irreversible.

Swimming with dolphins, riding an elephant, or taking pictures with “tamed” tigers are only a portion of the traveler exercises that conflict with the idea of capable the travel industry and are even characterized as brutal acts of abuse of the creatures of which they are accomplices every one of the individuals who take an interest, whether the promoters themselves, whether tourists or those who like the photos posted on social networks by friends or family.

In this article, I’m giving you 7 examples of tourist activities with animals that you should avoid on your next trips, so that before booking your villas and hotels you can play your part in the direction of more humane and responsible tourism. I expect this information helps you to think a little more about the subject and about the consequences of your actions in the already fragile natural balance of this planet.

Responsible Tourism: 7 Tourist Activities with Wild Animals to Avoid

Rides on top of Elephants

Despite their size, elephants can only support a maximum of 150kg on their backs, but often, the weight of tourists, the “handler” and the structure that carries them, far exceeds this weight. They are forced to work too many hours at a time, with few hours of rest, often in very hot weather. They are captured in their natural habitat, removed from their families, and domesticated through abuse and violent physical aggression.

Although unfortunately, there are still many agencies promoting this activity in Asia, several big names in tourism such as TripAdvisor for example, have already withdrawn this activity from their tour offer in the name of promoting Responsible Tourism.

Swim with or watch dolphin shows

Dolphins held in captivity for the entertainment of humans are cruelly captured in their natural habitat and removed from their families, which alone causes enough trauma. These creatures need to swim at least 8kms each day, yet in bondage, they are restricted to a little space which causes them extra pressure. There are several known cases of dolphins who found suicide the only way to deal with the emotional and psychological pressure they were victims of.

Watch bullfights

Bullfighting, considered by some people as a cultural expression and tradition, is one of the most serious forms of exploitation and abuse of animals in the world. Here, the torture and consequent suffering of the bull is used as a source of entertainment for tourists and hobbyists. There is no valid and rational explanation that justifies the existence of this practice, especially in so-called developed countries. And it is an absolute shame that even today in Portugal it is possible to watch this barbaric and medieval spectacle either live or on Public Television.

Swimming with Whale Sharks

The only reason you’re more likely to be able to swim with whale sharks in Oslob, on the island of Cebu, Philippines, is because these wild animals are fed by fishermen, who attract them to tourists. This behavior causes serious disturbances in the health of the animals, which end up not receiving the nutrients they would normally receive in their day-to-day life and alters their migration patterns, which has effects on their reproductive cycle. In addition, it gives rise to greater ease of animals with humans, which often leads to injuries caused by boat engines and propellers. It is anything but an activity associated with Responsible Tourism.

Horse or Mule Cart Tours

As with elephants, animals used for entertainment and tourist transport, such as horses, donkeys, or mules, live in inhumane conditions and are forced to work long hours, often going beyond their capacity. There are several stories of carriage horses that collapse and die in the middle of a public road when driven to exhaustion.

Taking photos with “domesticated” Tigers

The animals found in the so-called “sanctuaries” of tigers in countries like India or Thailand are heavily sedated so that tourists can get closer to them. They spend the day chained and confined to a small space, something that goes completely against their nature. There are even cases of tigers whose claws and/or teeth were removed for greater safety for tourists visiting this type of attraction. Will a photograph posted on social media with one of these animals be worth your suffering?

Kopi Luwak Coffee Tasting in Indonesia

Kopi Luwak coffee is known to come from coffee beans that are ingested by the civet, a small mammal originating from Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia for example, and then expelled in its feces. What most tourists don’t know is that in order to produce this coffee, these animals are kept in captivity, deprived of any exercise, space, freedom, or adequate food.

How to practice Responsible Tourism?

Do you love animals and do you dream of having more direct contact with them on your travels? There are other options you can choose in order to make your dream come true without negatively impacting the natural balance. I also have a great fascination for animal life and on my travels, I had the opportunity to participate in some activities, however, I have always been careful to choose the tour companies well.

Some I can recommend: for whale and dolphin watching in the Azores I suggest Espaço Thalassa on Pico Island and Futurismo on São Miguel Island, both companies known for their extreme concern for the well-being of animals. In Sri Lanka also went on a safari in one of the country’s many Natural Parks, the Udawalawe Park, which allows you to observe magnificent wild animals in their natural habitat. It was a magnificent experience.


Name- Julien Chbib

Bio- Julien is the founder of Julius Homes His interest in hiking, skiing, and adventure holidays made him bring together the choicest accommodations around the globe to make holidays relaxing and comfortable.

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