Successful CEO Thinks Travel Corporations Should Know That Tourists Who Care About Animals Will Buy From Companies Who Show They Care Too
A Tourist Who Cares
It was her dream—a honeymoon vacation in the gorgeous South Pacific. But then Bobbie Theodore came face-to-face with a scrawny, sickly looking dog that nobody in Tahiti seemed to care about. Except for her. Bobbie spent the better part of a whole day of her honeymoon trying to find veterinarian care for the suffering dog but the stray animal problem on the island paradise was so pervasive and common that her pleas for help fell on deaf ears. It tinged her memories of this special trip with sadness.
For Bobbie, the plight of this dog weighed heavily on her then and continues to trouble her still. Particularly after having many more similar experiences with stray animals all over the world, in the Ukraine, Mexico, cruise ports, and other international destinations that she’s traveled to. Now she’s determined to help strays by lending her time, talents, and resources to empower tourists like herself who care about animals and also enlist travel corporation support to fund solutions.
Mobilizing the Mobile Masses
Smart phones are in every pocket or hand bag these days. Through Facebook, we know exactly what our global friends or colleagues are having for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We are connected beyond what anyone could have imagined even ten years ago.
Bobbie thinks reaching the millions of tourists who care is the answer to helping animals at tourist destinations. “[Tourists] need to be mobilized to speak up, to show that animal welfare affects their travel decisions and experiences. I think so many tourists, me included, accept that poor conditions are part of the culture of a country. While they get sad about that, they don’t feel empowered to help or don’t know how they can make an impact on such an overwhelming problem. They need education about making humane choices with their travel dollars – and companies need to know that they will.”
[Psst…Animal loving tourists can click here for the Humane Advisor post on 10 Ways You Can Help a Stray Cat or Dog While on Vacation]
Ms. Humane Advisor thinks Bobbie knows what she’s talking about. Building her very successful company, Theodore Business Development, from the ground up, Bobbie knows that consumer demand drives corporate strategies. “[C]onsumers can and should make decisions in line with their passions, and animal lovers certainly do. As I said though, I don’t think that tourists have been offered many options for making humane travel decisions. All hotels now promote how “green” they are, but do any promote how “humane” they are?” Good point, Bobbie. Where are you, humane hotels and resorts? There are millions and millions of us looking for you!
A Numbers Game That Adds Up to Win-Win
However, Ms. Humane Advisor thinks that maybe these travel businesses just don’t realize how many animal loving tourists there are out there. To give them a little hint, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), pet industry spending is expected to increase to nearly 53 billion dollars in 2012!! WOW! That’s a lot of kibble and kitty litter. Yessiree! And it’s pretty darn likely that people who spend all this money on their pets obviously have a wee bit of disposable income for vacations and travel using travel providers that support the humane treatment of animals.
Are You Listening, Richard Branson?
These are precisely the type of numbers that a smart and savvy travel corporation can leverage and gain market share in a highly competitive industry by promoting its support for the humane treatment of animals at the destinations they serve. And with her business acumen and not-so-common sense, Bobbie’s just the person to tell Mr. Branson and any other interested travel corporation why helping animals is a win-win strategy for making their customers happy. She loves animals and isn’t afraid to be their voice.
All My Dogs (Except Jasper) Have Been Rescues
In fact, Bobbie says she has adopted pigs, goats, emus, cats, AND several very special rescue dogs. Wait, did she say emu? Holy Crocodile Dundee! But the first love of her life was Jasper the Basset Hound who she (blush) admits she bought from a breeder as her college graduation gift to herself.
Dogs must know she has a weakness for the hairy, four-legged type because one strange dog even hopped into her car off a country road. (Don’t you wonder if the emu was riding in the back seat with its head out of the sun roof at the time?)
Bobbie’s current dogs are from different parts of Mexico, saved through the help of her favorite animal rescue groups. Sick and starving upon arrival in the Theodore household, both are now healthy, content, and thriving in this loving environment.
Galvanized into action by her love for animals and the appalling lack of resources for stray animals at most international tourist destinations, Bobbie plans to become increasingly involved over the next few years with the animal welfare groups that she supports philosophically and financially.
She wants to help these groups provide solutions for animal overpopulation, neglect, and abuse such as large-scale spay and neuter campaigns and humane education. Though she feels that there’s only so much you can do on the humane education front however, when people are in survival mode themselves. Instead, she believes that a logical, economical approach to broad solutions through government and private partnerships can have an impact. For example, one of her favorite animal welfare groups, Compassion Without Borders, has worked with government officials in Mexico to implement much-needed humane euthanasia policies and procedures.
Amazing intentions from an amazing woman. Like she has already done for her rescued dogs, pigs, goats, and that gosh darn emu, you can bet that with Bobbie’s committed, caring heart, and keen business sense, she will make an even bigger difference for countless animals through her efforts. We can’t wait to check in with her again soon for a progress report.
Links to Bobbie’s Favorite Animal Rescue Groups
(Please “like” them on Facebook to show your support for their good work!)