CHIANG MAI, 7 December 2018: A new ecotourism event, Elephant Travel Mart 2018, hosted by the Save Elephant Foundation and Asian Elephant Projects will bring together so-called ‘ethical’ elephant tour operators and tour agencies.
The mart will be held 14 December at Chiang Mai’s Khum Kan Toke.
Elephant tourism has long been associated with Thailand, but in recent years riding elephants, or watching circus style acts, have declined in popularity to favour ‘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 to bring people together to discuss how the travel industry can continue to adapt and respond to this trend and better meet the shifting demands of travellers.
Founder of ‘Save Elephant Foundation’, Sangduen Chailert (Lek), believes ethical tour operators using environmentally sound practices and working with local tour agencies can create widespread benefits for elephants, the environment, small communities, and the Thai economy.
The event will begin with a performance by the Chiang Mai College of Dramatic Arts followed by a short mart session for networking and business discussions between elephant tour operators and travel agencies.
At the core of the event, 30 booths will display ‘Saddle Off’ projects promoted by Asian Elephant Projects designed to provide alternatives to traditional elephants rides.
The event will close with a dinner and entertainment provided by various Thai stars including Rose Sirinthip, Baitoey R-SIAM, King The Star, and Bow Benjasiri.
“The success of this event holds the potential to positively impact the welfare of elephants in Thailand, protect and improve the environment and provide support to local communities,” concluded Chailert.
(Source: Save Elephant Foundation and Asian Elephant Projects)