Animal attractions remain ever popular. But that is about to change. With conference attendees from over 40 countries, Global Green Destinations Day (GGDD) has been named the world’s largest sustainable tourism conference. Rightfully so: Green Destinations, the non-profit behind GGDD, is assessing and helping destinations worldwide to achieve sustainability. Slovenia, host of GGDD 2016, won the National Geographic Legacy Award using the Green Destinations Standard.
It is this Green Destinations Standard that will also change the use of animals in tourism. Whereas “Slovenia achieved an eye-opening 96 out of 100 detailed sustainability indicators (think environment and climate, culture and authenticity, nature and biodiversity, among others,),” animal ethics is not yet part of any internationally recognized standard assessing sustainability. “As a result, animals in sustainability and tourism are still almost completely overlooked. From 2018 on, it will be the first time animal ethics will be assessed and monitored from within the tourism industry.”
Over the course of the last years, IIAE has been busy developing the set of criteria as well as an Animal Ethics Guidance that will be used by auditors.