David joined Thomas Cook 18 months ago and leads Thomas Cook’s work on animal welfare. Over the past 18 months David has worked to establish the first animal welfare auditing programme and developed a new animal welfare strategy at Thomas Cook, as well as managing the companies response to a number of large NGO campaigns.  In addition to animal welfare issues, David also leads workstreams across the sustainability agenda including child protection, human rights, local economic development and environmental performance.
Before joining Thomas Cook, David worked in sustainability consulting for KPMG, advising large FTSE100 companies on sustainability strategy development and research projects. He has also completed a Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development with Forum for the Future.


Laëtitia is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln. She got her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Roehampton in 2015, investigating primate tourism in Morocco. Her research focuses on human-wildlife relationships, and in particular exploring primate tourism from both tourists and non-human primates’ standpoints, using a multidisciplinary approach. Her work encompasses the investigation of the impacts of tourism on the health and welfare of wild primates, as well as the exploration of tourist behaviour and experience when encountering or interacting with wild primates.

Her research has helped to inform a number of charitable and international government bodies on the benefits and challenges of primate tourism by providing scientific advice. These bodies include the Moroccan High Commission for Water and Forests, the Algerian Government, the Government of Gibraltar, Care for the Wild, and the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Laetitia Marechal

David Ville

A marine mammal scientist, Dylan has conducted over 100,000 km of surveys for cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in the wild and monitored whale watching tours worldwide. With experience in the travel and non-profit sectors as well as in government, Dylan ran a whale watching business The Company of Whales for ten years, focusing on scientific research through citizen science. During that time he co-founded the charity ORCA and authored several acclaimed books on cetaceans, including ‘Whales and Dolphins of the North American Pacific’, ‘Whales and Dolphins of the European Atlantic’ and ‘Whales and Dolphins of Great Britain’.

Dylan launched the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) in June 2013 and now facilitates joint initiatives between the WCA and its 70 Partners in 35 countries as the Head of Secretariat. The WCA runs four global programmes focused on, amongst other things, cetaceans in captivity and responsible whale and dolphin watching in the wild. Tribes wanted to encourage travellers to choose accommodations which give something to their environment, the local community or the wildlife and to realise that this means that their experience will be that much more special. Hayley Lynagh was asked to write short paragraphs for each of their accommodation providers to highlight the sustainable approaches in a way that would successfully engage the customer and provide the information in an easy to read style.

Sarah Blaine

Daniel Turner

Sarah Grimsley

Guest Speaker Bio's

+44 7974 093253 

Hugh is the Senior Sustainable Tourism Executive at ABTA, The Travel Association, the UK’s largest travel association, representing travel agents and tour operators that sell £32 billion of holidays and other travel arrangements each year. Hugh was part of the team that developed the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines in 2013 and supports travel companies to use the ABTA Global Animal Welfare Guidelines to understand which suppliers to work with worldwide and identify where improvements in business practices and animal welfare need to be made. 
Hugh has studied an MSc in Environmental and Biological Science at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and followed this with a Master’s degree in Tourism, Conservation and Sustainable Development at the University of Greenwich, UK. Since graduating in 2001 he has worked in the travel and tourism industry, both abroad as well as in sales and marketing roles in the UK and is now working full time on sustainable tourism. 

Daniel has been working for the Born Free Foundation since 2000 and has predominantly focused on developing and raising international standards in animal welfare and protection in Europe, and in a global context, through responsible tourism. Daniel is an environmental biologist with background experience in field conservation and wildlife trafficking investigation. At the Born Free Foundation, Daniel has initiated and led on a number of ground-breaking initiatives, including: the EU Zoo Inquiry: the extensive review of zoo regulation and compliance across the European Union; the authorship of ABTA’s Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism, now adopted by tour operators across Europe; the development of an extensive suite of training tools to build-capacity in the application of animal welfare science. He is the Coordinator of the European coalition, ENDCAP, and a member of the Global Council of the World Cetacean Alliance.
Daniel Turner  BSc (Hons) CBiol MSB
Associate Director
Born Free Foundation


A UK registered charity dedicated to improving welfare for captive working elephants, particularly in Asia and with a focus on Thailand. The foundations philosophy of working collaboratively with mahouts and their communities to ensure all parties will benefit is unique, they have a clear understanding and appreciation that the elephant’s welfare is dependent on their mahouts and their living conditions.

To fulfil the charities broad remit, Sarah focuses on raising awareness and educating stakeholders on the important issue of elephant welfare. Alongside this, she has worked on the ‘Walking Elephants Home’ project which is the foundations latest success. This project enabled two elephants to be taken from a tourist camp and returned back to the forest near to their mahouts village, it takes into account the needs of the local village community whilst still putting animal welfare at the forefront of its agenda. This on-going project successfully combines animal welfare with community-based tourism and is a fantastic opportunity for guests to witness and learn about Asian elephants in their natural environment whilst also having the opportunity to learn about the local traditions and culture of the Karen hill tribe.

Walking With Elephants is a successful model of sustainable and welfare focused elephant tourism, the project now offers a home to four lucky elephants living in thousands of acres of protected forest. 


Sarah's role is ensuring all our loyal donors and potential supporters are provided with excellent supporter care. She has worked at Brooke for almost nine years, and during that time has communicated with thousands of people about their important work and has developed extensive knowledge of their overseas programmes and animal welfare.

Sarah has visited several Brooke operational countries, and in 2014, she delivered a 5 day workshop to employees of the Petra Archaeological Park in Jordan, which included a full day session on working equine welfare, why it is important, and what their role is to ensure the good welfare of the animals inside this UNESCO site. The staff were also trained in how to manage complaints they receive from tourists related to animal welfare. On a bigger scale, Brooke co-ordinated the establishment of the ‘Care for Petra Campaign’ which along with alerting tourists to the issues of child labour and site protection, aims to improve tourist attitude and behaviour to working animals in Petra, Jordan. 

Brooke has also served as a technical advisor towards the development of ABTA’s Animal Welfare Guidelines for Working Animals.

Dylan Walker

Global Spirit © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 2014

 Animals in Tourism Specialists


Jose Mendoza


Jose has worked within the captive animal environment for over 15 years, having undertaken a number of courses focused on the care of exotic animals, he is currently the Head of Exotic birds at Marineland in Mallorca.  

Jose has considerable experience in the behaviour, biology and management of exotic birds and also oversees the training programmes associated with bird shows at the venue to EAZA, AIZA and EEAM standards.  Jose's ambition is to create an environment where exotic bird shows are used primarily to educate the public and raise awareness of habitat conservation and species protection.

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Hugh Felton