Dak Lak province to boost elephant-friendly tourism model hinh anh 1Swimming competition for elephants of Don Village on Serepok river. (Photo: VNA)

Dak Lak (VNA) – The People’s Committee of the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak and Animals Asia Foundation (AAF) on December 15 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the conversion of elephant-friendly tourism model.

The MoU aims to end the use of elephant riding tourism and activities affecting the welfare of elephants in tourism and festivals, contributing to elephant conservation in the province.

Accordingly, Dak Lak province will refrain from organising such activities as elephant riding tourism, elephant-related competitions including elephant swimming, tug of war or reenacting scenes of hunting and taming elephants.

The Animals Asia Foundation will responsible for mobilising legal resources for technical and financial support to benefit elephants and households with income from elephant riding tourism.

Dak Lak province to boost elephant-friendly tourism model hinh anh 2At the event. (Photo: VNA)

Y Giang Gry Nie Knong, Vice Chairman of Dak Lak provincial People’s Committee, said the province is home to 140 individuals, a 90 percent decrease in the number of elephants compared to 1980. However, most of the tamed elephants are old and no longer able to reproduce.

In the future, the province committed to supporting the proposals of the Animals Asia Foundation on the protection of tamed elephants in line with local custom and rearing condition, especially directed relevant agencies in deploying the elephant-friendly tourism model, he said.

According to the AAF, the foundation has provided funding of 65,000 USD to support the transition from the riding elephants tourism model to coming to see elephants in their natural environment from July 2018 to July 2023. This is the first elephant-friendly tourism model in Vietnam which has drawn support from domestic and international tourists as well as the international community.

The new tourism model will protect the health and life of elephants while benefiting elephant owners and the locality community at the same time, it said./.