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G Adventures Launches Leading-edge Animal Welfare Policy

G Adventures strengthens animal protection in travel

October 4, 2019 (Boston, MA) — This World Animal Day, October 4, leading small-group adventure operator and community tourism specialist, G Adventures, is announcing its first, official animal welfare policy, developed in consultation with World Animal Protection, the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, and the World Cetacean Alliance. The new policy builds on the industry-leading animal welfare guidelines first introduced by G Adventures in 2015, with even more protections for wildlife in tourism.


Three key ways that the tour operator is helping its supplier partners and travelers ensure that ‘wildlife has a wild life’ include: (1) having no physical contact with, or feeding non-domesticated animals in captivity or the wild; (2) not visiting performances or shows involving wild animals; (3) and not consuming endangered animals. These protections take G Adventures’ earlier commitments to eliminate elephant riding and other harmful human-animal interactions, such as running with bulls, even further — beyond what most other travel companies have done.


A new educational video geared to consumers and intended for sharing on social media explains why ‘Wildlife has the right to a wild life’. It was produced by G Adventures’ in-house team of content creators and is positioned alongside the new animal welfare policy to help coach travelers to interact with wildlife in a way that avoids danger for both animals and people. The video reminds us about basic animal welfare such as not taking pictures with wild animals that may have been sedated, or riding elephants which will have been harmed to carry humans. It also introduces the strengthened aspects of the policy, such as not feeding animals or having any physical contact with them, and addresses human consumption of endangered species.


Melissa Matlow, Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection, said, “We are proud to have advised G Adventures on their animal welfare policy and to help them identify harmful tourist activities to ensure no animals are mistreated. We see G Adventures as a leader in humane and sustainable tourism and are excited by the work we will continue to do together to end animal cruelty and keep wildlife in the wild, where they belong.”


Jamie Sweeting, G Adventures’ vice president of social enterprise and responsible travel, explained that the policy replaces the company’s existing animal welfare guidelines, and takes its operations and supplier partnerships to the next level.


No one in the travel industry is perfect, but we must learn as we grow. In working with and learning from other experts in animal welfare, we realized that our company could go even further than the Five Freedoms we previously endorsed, and so we did. Our world’s animals are one of our greatest treasures and it’s our job to respect and protect them for future generations, as well as our own.


With the launch of this new animal welfare policy, we are actively educating our customers, very selectively choosing suppliers, and holding our international staff accountable for reporting issues they may see to a new internal task force. The animal welfare policy will be built into our travel conduct policy, as well as our staff and supplier contracts. We want people to not just abide by the policy, but to keep a watchful eye on the behaviors of others and alert us when they see anyone who might be causing harm, often unintentionally, to the animals we should protect and respect,” said Sweeting.


The new policy is one of G Adventures’ many ‘G for Good’ commitments, and builds on the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals In Tourism which was announced in 2015 by ABTA UK, and based around the Five Freedoms – freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, pain, freedom from injury or disease, freedom to express normal behavior and being free of fear and distress. G Adventures is also providing input to the revision of the ABTA Guidance, which will launch later this year.


About G Adventures — Founded in 1990 by social entrepreneur Bruce Poon Tip, G Adventures is a small group adventure travel operator offering more than 750 tours in 120 countries, on all seven continents. G Adventures’ award-winning trips support local communities, giving travelers meaningful experiences with people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife, while offering the  freedom and flexibility to explore a destination on their own. G Adventures’ responsible approach to travel is demonstrated through its ‘G for Good’ social impact initiatives, which include travel guidelines for children, wildlife and Indigenous people, community-based social enterprise projects that travelers can experience on trip, and its industry-leading ‘Ripple Score’ assessment that measures how many traveler dollars stay in the local economy. G Adventures offers life-changing tours for people of all ages, interests and budgets. Because our world deserves more you. For more information please visit