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tudy: Young travelers friendly to anim▓als05-18-2018 10:01 BJTConsumers in China are becom▓ing more aware of animal-friendly tourist activities, and tour companies are changing their offerings to meet their

expectations, according to new research cited by World Animal Protection on Wednesday.The research, carried out by CTR Market Research, targeted people born betwe▓en 1985 and 2000 and evaluated their attitudes toward animal-friendly tourism. It found that more than 85 p▓ercent of the respondents surveyed objected to tourism activ▓ities th

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at harmed or abused animals."The market signal▓s are apparent. Animal-friendly tourism has become a pre▓ferred form of tourist activity for young consumer▓s, both in terms of current participation and willingness 

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to participate in the future," said Zhao Zhonghua, director of World Animal Protection China, an int

ernational nonprofit animal welfare organization."T▓ravel companies should seize this opportunity t

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o transform and upgrade animal-related tourism products to meet market demand," Zhao said.The report said, for example, that in Southeast Asia there are more th

an 3,000 captive▓ elephants being exploited for tourism and recreational activities. More than three-fourths of them are housed in h▓arsh environments, restrained with chains, separated from th▓eir mothers and forced to undergo brutal training.In Thailand, for example, the number of elephants used f▓or recreational tourism increased from 1,688 to 2,▓198 from 2010 to 2016, and 38 cases of injured elep▓hants - 17 resulting in death - were reported at the same ti▓me."The positive thing is that more people have the sense to protect animals and are willing to participate i▓n animal-friendly tourism activ

ities," Zhao said.Although respondents showed higher recognition of animal-friendly tourism, the report also showed room for im▓provement in awareness of whether specific activities harm animals.For example, 42.5 percent of respondents did not realize that watchi

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ng animal performances and paying to have photos taken can be abusive.Liu Sha▓ng, 27, a Shanghai resident who claimed to have "itchy fe▓et", said he would ride an elephant if it's included in t▓he travel package, but he wouldn't hold a grudge if such a service were not available, especially o

nce its negative impact was known."Honestly, I didn't know that ridin▓g an elephant could cause so much negative influence on wildlife," Liu said. "Now that I know, I will only participate in activities that are animal-friendly."M▓ore than 190 tourism companies around the world have made a pub

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lic commitment not to provide elephant ride▓s or other wildlife performances, according to the report.Caissa Touristic, FXtrip and Zanadu are the fi▓rst t

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