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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
When it comes to saving nature with smart choices in Mexico and the Caribbean, TRAFFIC and WWF work on an approach that educates tourists, engages industry and partners with governments.
An important step to lasting change is educating well-meaning tourists about seemingly innocent purchases that can have far-reaching impacts on natural beauty they have travelled so far to experience. Many consumers are simply confused about what types of souvenirs are available, where they are from and whether or not they are legal and sustainable. Here is a simple guideline on what you can do when you are considering a souvenir to remember your vacation.
If you are on a cruise or planning one to the Caribbean, here are some quick and easy suggestions to make a good buy.
In 2008, more than 3 million cruise ship tourists arrived in ports along the Yucatan. A single port can receive over 20,000 cruise ship passengers in a day.
Cruise lines understand and know their target audience better than anyone else and have many opportunities to influence their passengers buying behavior. We are exploring partnerships with cruise lines to develop a campaign that informs and engages cruisers making good buys that benefit wildlife and local economies. Some simple proactive measures can save tourists from getting on the wrong side of the law because of unwise purchases. Training or awareness materials for cruise line staff on wildlife products and laws can help prevent problems onboard. Cruise lines and tour operators can invest in awareness program that are positive and empower passengers to make informed decisions.
If you are affiliated with a cruise line or travel agent and are interested in learning more, contact us.
TRAFFIC works on capacity building for local inspectors, security and customs on identifying and curbing illegal wildlife trade in Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. We encourage governments to promote the message of “a good buy” in their top travel destinations. For example, we work together with the Mexican government to raise awareness on wildlife trade using our bilingual materials in the main cruise ports of the Yucatan Peninsula. All these combined efforts send a strong message that the governments in the region are committed to conserving wildlife while reinforcing that tourists and travel operators play a vital role by saving nature through smart choices.