Towards a model for the assessment of conservation, welfare, and governance in wildlife tourism attractions
Fennell DA., Moorhouse TP., Macdonald DW.
In the absence of sufficient regulation of wildlife tourism attractions (WTAs), standards of treatment of animals are typically determined by what tourists find acceptable. Under this model there is little motivation for operators to improve standards if tourists do not leave reputationally damaging feedback. Given this current state, the objectives of this paper are twofold. First, we highlight and categorise existing systemic barriers that prevent the operation of an ethical market for WTAs. Second, we combine knowledge of these barriers with a recently published theoretical framework on animal justice to derive an initial, robust set of practical criteria with which non-expert tourists can externally assess ethical standards at WTAs. Viewed at this stage as a prototype, these criteria allow tourists to better understand the scope and consequences of the proper and improper use of animals in tourism along governance, conservation and animal welfare lines.