Interaction between tourists and animals –main focus has to be in animal well-being

Posted By : Maria Ojajärvi/ 10 2

Animal-based activities are very popular among tourists. Close interaction with animals is an exciting way of spending a holiday.

Tourists love activities where they can be close to animals. Some people think that seeing the animal in the wild is not enough. Taking selfies with wild animals to social media makes the situation even harder – is this interaction between tourists and animals acceptable?

Today I heard a sentence I want to quote. ”What is the most difficult part of responsible tourism? Looking beyond the cuteness factor.” I totally agree. You might be eager to hug and cuddle cubs that have just been born. The cubs miss their mom. The animal welfare problem in the tourism industry is growing and one of the reasons is traveler´s lack of awareness. Interaction between tourists and animals is acceptable if the main focus is in animal well-being.

Volunteering with animals

If you want to encounter wildlife but don’t want to contribute to anything unethical and harmful, volunteering with animals offers you a solution. Ecotravellers Finland has many options for you. We have searched for NGO`s that have their main focus in animal welfare and conservation. There is no feeding and touching wild animals. There is no guarantee you will see the animals, but you travel for the good cause – to help the animals.

All the options are available here (in finnish): www.ekomatkaajat.fi

Visiting Lapland

One of the reasons for visiting Lapland is animal-based activities. For many tourists just seeing reindeer in the snow is part of the Christmas experience. Activities like reindeer sledging and farm visits are also highly popular. It’s difficult to imagine a visit to Lapland without huskies or reindeer.

Lapland does not offer wild animal shows or circuses. Lapland is full of national parks and tourists can go and see the animals in their natural habitats. There are more reindeer than humans in Lapland! 0.3% of all the reindeer in Lapland are used for tourism purposes.

Nowadays tourists are concerned about animal treatment. This is why we in travelling business must find the responsible animal-based activities for tourists. We must give enough information so that responsible tourism doesn´t sound like a hard and overprised option.

One place I can recommend is Harriniva. Ecotravellers Finland co-operates with Harriniva and they take good care of their animals. The reindeer in the main picture is enjoying life in Harriniva.

By taking the Sustainable Finland Pledge 26.8.2019 Ecotravellers Finland has promised to respect and treasure the Finnish nature, its inhabitants and culture.You can also sign the pledge!

More information about animal tourism in Finland:

http://animaltourismfinland.com/