Bangkok, 13 February 2024 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has reaffirmed the continuous support for the World Wide Fund for Nature International or WWF Thailand’s ‘Travel Ivory Free’ campaign to urge tourists to travel responsibly and stop buying ivory products.
At WWF Thailand’s latest campaign launch to announce its ongoing efforts to change tourists’ buying behaviour and put an end to illegal ivory trade, key players in the travel and tourism industry as well as international organisations joined together to show their commitment to help spread the awareness and promote a more sustainable travel culture.
Mr. Nithee Seeprae, TAT Deputy Governor for Marketing Communications, said “TAT has been a strong supporter since the campaign’s inception in 2018. Through our public relations efforts, we urge tourists to be a part of this awareness-raising initiative to help curtail demand for ivory products. Also, since 2020, we have been promoting the “Elephant Care Tourism” initiative to offer tourism that cares about Thai elephants”
WWF Thailand initiated the ‘Travel Ivory Free’ campaign after China banned its domestic ivory trade in December 2017.
A key element in this initiative is to publicise that it is illegal to buy ivory products and take them out of Thailand. Under Thailand’s Wild Animal Conservation and Protection Act, B.E. 2562 (2019), any tourists caught with ivory items could face a potential penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment or fines of up to one million Baht or both.
According to findings by GlobeScan, Thailand remains one of the biggest illegal ivory destinations for diehard buyers. The results revealed that although some groups of tourists plan to purchase ivory as souvenirs or gifts ahead of their visit, a larger number were encouraged by tour guides while in Thailand.
Ms. Pimpavadee Phaholyothin, WWF Thailand’s Chief Executive Officer, said together with key players in the travel and tourism industry, WWF Thailand will continue to actively raise awareness to urge tourists to put an end to the illegal ivory trade and help spread the awareness by using #TravelIvoryFree via social media.
Tourists can engage with the “Travel Ivory Free” campaign at key tourist locations, such as, international airports and department stores in Thailand and join together to raise awareness and partake in responsible and sustainable tourism experiences while in Thailand.