Wild asian elephants in Kaudulla National Park in Sri Lanka.

Leading Nordic tour operator Apollo removes elephant excursions from their program


Apollo, Sweden’s third largest tour operator, has stepped forward to show their support in promoting animal-friendly tourism.

As a market leader in Norway, Denmark and Finland, Apollo books the holidays for about 1 million people each year, to destinations worldwide. As a first step, they have already removed 16 abusive elephant excursions from their program. The few that remain are those venues where elephants are seen in their natural habitat.

Thousands of people each year visit animal attractions, unaware of the hidden abuse going on behind the scenes. From riding elephants to taking selfies with tigers, many animal attractions inflict serious cruelty on animals in the name of entertainment. Yet the majority of people visiting the attractions are unaware of the suffering behind the scenes. That is why we have launched our Before they book campaign.

Working together for sustainable change

World Animal Protection Sweden and Denmark are looking forward to a long-term collaboration with Apollo, welcoming their commitment to completely exclude excursions from their program that involve animal abuse. In 2015, they plan on making further changes in their program that reflect sustainable and animal-friendly alternatives.

Kajsa Moström, the Communication and CSR Manager at Apollo said: “There is nothing that upsets our guests as much as children or animals in distress. In recent years we have seen an increased demand for animal-friendly excursions. Therefore we are taking this step.”

Elisabeth Tjärnström, Programmes Manager at World Animal Protection Sweden responded saying: “We are very pleased that Apollo has decided to take this step. They show that they do not wish to support activities such as elephant riding and thereby take responsibility for animal-friendly tourism.”

We hope other tour operators around the world will also reflect this positive change by including animal welfare policies in their corporate responsibilities.

Read about our work to end wild animal abuse for entertainment, and visit our latest campaign Wildlife – not entertainers to find out how you can help. 

In recent years we have seen an increased demand for animal-friendly excursions. Therefore we are taking this step.

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