By Brenda Robinson
With wild elephants being driven towards extinction by the scourge of poaching, Möevenpick Hotels are feeding, and possibly creating, the demand for ivory by renting shops inside their hotels to ivory traders, and thus profiting from the ivory trade.
Promotion for this shop involves leaving booklets in each hotel room promoting the shop.
Our reader took a video of this shop inside the Möevenpick Hotel in Madinah in Saudi Arabia in October 2013 (see below).
By promoting ivory sales and creating demand for ivory products, Möevenpick hotels are encouraging the poaching of elephants. By displaying ivory openly for sale in their hotels, they are marketing ivory to people who may not have previously thought of buying any.
This has a terrible human cost, as well as threatening the existence of elephants. As many as13,000 people have lost their lives protecting wildlife in the last eight years around the world, and it is estimated that up to 50,000 elephants are killed by poachers every year. 6 tonnes of ivory have been seized by authorities in East Africa in the last few weeks, and seizures only represent a small percentage of the ivory that is exported every year.
Sustainability policy or lip service?
Möevenpick Hotels own sustainability policy states "For Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts sustainability is about meeting current needs while at the same time preserving and contributing to the future for generations to come.
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is convinced that the combination of its values and global approach to sustainability will help the company to be recognized as one of the world's most trusted hotel management companies."
Like many large organisations, it appears that Moevenpick pay lip service to ‘sustainability' whilst the reality is that if someone wants to pay them some rent for a shop, then the need for cash overcomes "preserving and contributing to the future for generations to come."
If elephants are to survive demand for ivory needs to be stopped. Video.