What can tourism do about wildlife poaching – silence is not an option

Jeremy Smith

sunset in South AfricaTourism has always used the best shot. Beaches in brochures are enticingly empty or inhabited by immaculately toned models. The sun is setting with the concrete tower block cropped just out of view. Lazy travel cliches paint the best possible verbal pictures too, so that neigbourhoods are relentlessly ‘vibrant’, markets always ‘bustle’, and seas across the world lap aquamarine, turquoise or azure.

We sell people these holiday ideals, then leave out the bad bits, and hope they will be enjoying themselves too much to complain that it really wasn’t like-what-it-said-in-the-brochure.

Nowhere is this more true than in the way we present our most iconic wildlife. Lions, elephants, rhinos and tigers provide the easiest of shorthand when we want to promote our trips. We’ve used the awe they inspire to sell our products – through our websites, brochures, photographs or articles – for decades.

Unfortunately, our pin-ups are being…

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