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Preserving the lion’s share

Preserving the lion’s share

As irresponsible holidaymakers go, the dentist who flew 9,000 miles from Minnesota to Zimbabwe to slay wild animals with a bow and arrow last month must take some beating.

Of course, if American dentist Walter James Palmer had shot a “canned” lion on a government-sanctioned hunting safari, it would not have made global news. And that one lion has garnered such media coverage when Unicef estimates at least five thousand children die every single day in eastern and Southern Africa throws up interesting questions.

But in shooting Cecil, one of Hwange National Park’s best-loved inhabitants, Palmer has created an international outrage that I hope will ultimately mean Cecil’s death was not in vain, instead putting the spotlight on conservation issues in Africa more widely.

Delta and American Airlines moved quickly this week to pledge they will no longer transport the remains of such trophy-hunted animals, and in this week’s poll, we’d like to hear whether you’d sell one of these ethically complex hunting trips to your customers.

UK travel agents don’t have many big game hunters on their database, but a client doesn’t have to be slaughtering animals to have a negative impact when they go on holiday.

Last month was Make Holidays Greener Month, when the Travel Foundation raised awareness of simple ways in which holidaymakers can enjoy their trips more responsibly. The focus this year was on caring for the ocean, and the travel industry took part in more than 100 beach cleans around the world, collecting an impressive 3,000kg of rubbish.

In our Good Business page this week, meanwhile, we hear how an international hotel megabrand in Haiti is breaking the corporate norms so it can better support the local people.

And on home soil, Yorkshire agent Sandy Murray tells us why she’s raising money to help a very special cat.

The travel and tourism industry certainly has a big heart, and if the international rage over Cecil’s death is anything to go by, so do many of your customers.

By steering clients towards more responsible ways of holidaying, you can play your part in helping them to show it.

 

Pippa Jacks
editor, TTG

@philippajacks

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