Through support and respectful engagement, contemporary training and sector regulation, Asian Captive Elephant Standards (ACES) is dedicated to working with governments, the tourism sector and elephant owners to raise the standard of welfare, safety and management of elephants living under human care across southeast Asia.
We welcome opportunities to collaborate with new partners – contact us to discuss how ACES can contribute to your research, training and tourism initiatives and development projects.
Case study: PATA Tourism Destination Resilience Capacity Development Project
Asian Captive Elephant Standards has recently partnered with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) to support the PATA Tourism Destination Resilience Capacity Development Project. This project aims to strengthen the resilience of locals and their communities associated with the elephant-based tourism industry and involves liaising with national tourism authorities, tour operators, and elephant venues in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao PDR, and Vietnam.
These countries were chosen for project implementation as they all have small remaining populations of wild and captive Asian elephants - as opposed to Thailand, which has a very different elephant-based tourism sector. Follow our News and Research page for details about the project’s progress.
We work with the travel trade and tourism industry as they have a key role in enabling travellers to make informed choices about which venues to visit, which in turn influences more elephant owners to implement higher standards of animal welfare.
Elephant-based tourism remains one of southeast Asia’s most popular experiences. But with its many sensitivities, it can be a challenging activity for tour operators and travel trade professionals to confidently support and promote to their customers.
Elephant-based tourism is complex, but elephant venues bring essential income to remote areas, and also play a significant role in elephant conservation, culture and community identification. We also know that accredited, high-quality elephant experiences can significantly improve visitor knowledge and education around the threats facing wild elephants in southeast Asia.
With many elephant camps now reopening after Covid-19, our team is increasing its engagement with the travel industry and elephant venues to continue to encourage responsible travel and raise elephant welfare standards in southeast Asia.
Find an ACES accredited elephant experience
Case Study: ACES Regenerative travel: Responsible Travel for Elephant-Based Tourism in Southeast Asia online training course
In 2022 ACES developed Regenerative Travel: Responsible Travel for Elephant-Based Tourism in Southeast Asia, a free online training course that is available on the Atingi website. The project aims to educate the travel trade and consumers about sustainable and responsible elephant tourism experiences.
The course is widely praised by elephant experts and the tourism industry:
“ACES is critical to ensuring responsible elephant tourism and supporting venues are doing the right thing”.
Dr Janine Brown, Research Physiologist at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
“The underlying problems of elephant welfare stem from many factors and occur whether an elephant meets tourists or not.
This training module helps remind us of this fact and shows us how well-managed elephant tourism can be used as a tool to address the welfare issues inherent in the captive situation. It’s also useful to introduce the tourism professional to how much an elephant camp is part of the local community and how many human livelihoods depend on providing the best welfare to captive elephants”.
John Roberts, Group Director of Sustainability & Conservation, Minor Hotels, and Director of Elephants & Conservation, Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation
ACES developed this training course as part of the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) Tourism Destination and Resilience project funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.