The Elephant Tourism Business

December 2020
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    23rd December 2020
  • ISBN 9781789245868
  • Language English
  • Pages 208 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"

Elephant tourism is a growing attraction in many countries across Asia and Africa and is popular with tourists from many origins. As elephants are no longer used in the logging industry in Asia, elephant tourism has grown rapidly, providing the only viable way that elephants and their owners can generate income. Old logging camps were developed into sanctuaries for some elephants, but many other camps were established as entertainment centers, with various welfare issues resulting for the elephants and their mahouts. The profits from elephant tourism in Asia have encouraged African operators to follow a similar business model.

This book draws attention to the need for a comprehensive and rigorous focus on local solutions to improve the welfare of captive elephants and tourists' experiences of elephant tourism, to the benefit of local communities by:

  • Critically reviewing recent research into elephant tourism
  • Providing contemporary analytical case studies of elephant tourism policy and practice
  • Identifying future research priorities
The Elephant Tourism Business will contribute to a better understanding of how elephant tourism is organized, regulated and promoted, both in tourist origin countries and in elephant areas. It identifies priorities for future research into elephant tourism and provides a unique, authoritative resource for researchers, elephant managers and administrators, and tourism managers in this developing area of international concern. The book will be of interest to academics and practitioners with backgrounds in conservation, environment, tourism and veterinary sciences.

1: Personal Experiences of Elephant Tourism

  • 1: Managing the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp. Eric Laws Interviews John Edward Roberts.
  • 2: PATA and Jetwing. John Koldowski Interviews Chi Lo and Senal Siriwardene
  • 3: The Elephant in the Room: an Auto Ethnographic Approach. Vinathe Sharma Brymer and Eric Brymer.
  • 2: Expectations and Experiences of Interactions with Elephants
  • 4: Drivers of Elephant Tourism in Thailand. Bongkosh Rittichainuwat, Noel Scott and Eric Laws.
  • 5: Visitor Expectations and Behaviours at Elephant Camps. Saranphat Chotmanakul and Somyot Onghlualp
  • 6: Alternative Forms of Elephant Tourism. Susanna Curtin and Charlotte Day
  • 7: Elephant Visitor Preferences and Experiences in Sri Lanka. Ramona Strödecke and Nicole Häusler.
  • 3: Ethical and Moral Perspectives
  • 8: Moral Tensions for Elephant Visitors. Anja Pabel and Mucha Mkono
  • 9: The Valuation of Ethical Encounters with Elephants. Quingmong Cui and Honggang Xu
  • 10: Community, Collaboration, Elephant Conservation and Protection. Liv Baker, Sarah Blaine and Rebecca Winkler
  • 11: Conservation-based Elephant Tourism: an Importance-Performance Analysis. Daminda Sumanpala, Nilakshi Galahtiyawe and Isabelle Wolf.
  • 4: Frameworks for Modern Elephant Tourism Management
  • 12: The Effectiveness of Elephant Welfare Regulations in India. Sumanth Bindumadhav, Alakparna Sengupta and Shilapa Mahbubani.
  • 13: Elephant Tourism Conservation and the Need for a New Strategy: Thai Stakeholder Attitudes. Ann Suwaree Ashton.
  • 14: Elephant Tourism, the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines. Claire Jenkinson
  • 5: Elephants and Their Stories
  • 15: A Case Study of Elephant Venue Narratives. Jeffrey Dale Hobbs and Pienpeng Na Pattalung
  • 16: The Valuation of Elephant Sightings in Protected Areas. Andrea and Melville Saayman
  • 17: Social Media: a Proxy Voice of Elephants. Kannapa Pongponrat and Naphawan Chantradoan
  • 6: What Next? Proxy Voices for Elephants
  • 18: Modernising Human-Elephant Interactions. Andrew McLean
  • 19: Validating a Captive Elephant Welfare Index. Vivek Gurswamy and Clive Phillips
  • 20: Promoting Elephant Friendly Tourism. Marjorie Van Strien and Jan Schmidt-Burback
  • 21: The Paradox of Elephant Friendly Tourism. Daniel Turner and Naut Kusters
  • 22: Conclusion. Xavier Font, Noel Scott, John Koldowski and Eric Laws.
  • 23: Postscript. COVID-19 and The Elephant Tourism Business, a Preliminary Analysis. Eric Laws, John Koldowski, Xavier Font, Noel Scott, Taweepoke Angkawanish, Nina Brask , Daniel Turner, Bongkosh Rittichainuwat and Suphaporn Rattanaphinanchai
  • Eric Laws

    Eric Laws has an MPhil from the University of Surrey and a PhD from Griffith University. He has retired from full time academic life, and is Visiting Professor at Leshan Normal University, Sichuan, P.R. China. His research interests include tourism service quality, destination management, crisis management and elephant tourism. Eric’s publications include nearly 100 journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. The Elephant Tourism Business is Eric’s twentieth authored or edited book.

    Noel Scott

    Noel Scott is Adjunct Professor of Tourism Management in the Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast. His research interests include the study of wildlife tourism, tourism experiences, destination management and marketing, and stakeholder organization. He has over 300 academic articles published including 16 books. He is on the Editorial Board of 10 journals, a Fellow of the Council of Australian University Tourism and Hospitality Educators, and a member of the International Association of China Tourism Scholars.

    Xavier Font

    Xavier Font is professor of sustainability marketing at the University of Surrey. He researches and develops methods of sustainable tourism production and consumption. He has published widely about sustainable tourism certification, and has consulted on sustainable product development, marketing and communication for UNEP, UNCTAD, UNWTO, IFC, EC, VisitEngland, Fáilte Ireland, WWF and the Travel Foundation amongst others. Since January 2019, he is the new co-editor of the Journal of Sustainable Tourism. He has conducted over 130 courses for more than 2500 businesses on how to market and communicate sustainability, see

    John Koldowski

    John Koldowski is a Professor and Foreign Expert within the School of Tourism at Leshan Normal University (LSNU). He is a researcher and educator across a number of areas, including the responsible and sustainable development of mountain-area tourism, rural tourism development and the development of metrics for the better measurement of the impact of tourism in fragile areas and on the intangible assets of tourism. Prior to joining LSNU, John was with the College of Innovation at Thailand’s Thammasat University, and a founding member of the Tourism Action Group (TAG) at the same institution. He was also part of the Secretariat for the PATA Thailand Chapter for a number of years, while living and working in Thailand. Before entering academia, he was Deputy CEO of PATA, where over a fifteen-year span he came to be regarded as one of the travel and tourism sector’s leading analysts. He still maintains his relationship with PATA through his appointment as a special advisor to the CEO.

    Tourism; elephant tourism; origins of elephant tourism; captive elephant welfare; animals as tourist attractions; wildlife viewing; sustainability; ethics; environmental responsibility; elephant industry regulation; elephant industry organisation; tourist expectations of elephant visits; tourist experiences of elephant visits; mahout traditions and skills; elephants in local culture; elephant tourism - veterinary science perspectives