Responsible travel has always been a fundamental value of Quotient TravelPlanner. Since our inception in 2007, we have endeavoured to provide our clients with passionately-crafted holidays that provide a native’s insights during their journeys. The ability to offer authentic experiences and luxury without sacrificing soul, culture nor environment, necessitated dedicated partners who shared a common ethos.
Our latest CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative, revolving around wildlife conservation, is an evolvement of our responsible travel stance and an acknowledgement that we can do much more to further the notion of responsible travel. The conversation on wildlife conservation is most definitely not one we have just embarked on. Over the years, with deeper partnerships forged around the world and greater exploration by the team and our clientele, we have been exposed to magnificent creatures, the threats they face as well as noble causes centred around wildlife.
Last year, Quotient, in spite of its size, threw its support behind the inaugural National Geographic Live in Singapore as series sponsor, because we strongly identified with the key themes of adventure, exploration and wildlife conservation. We return again as series sponsor for the second edition, held in August 2015 and January 2016.
Wildlife may not be abundant in Singapore, and the immediate region that surrounds us boast not of Big Five, but we cannot pretend that what happens in the world does not affect us. Sadly, we also cannot claim that we are not part of the problem. A number of species face extinction because of demand in Asia; many animals’ body parts are valued by Asians and deemed status symbols or to have medicinal properties. The rhino, for instance, is hunted for its horns, and the biggest market for rhino horns is none other than Vietnam.
To solve the problem, we need to go to the root. For wildlife to stay alive, we need to take the issue back to Asia.
#RhinosCanFly is an 18-month-long initiative focused on two elements: raising funds for a worthy cause, and motivating travellers and the public at large to think and act differently when it comes to wildlife.
By the end of December 2016, Quotient targets to raise enough funds to aid Rhinos Without Borders in translocating one rhino from South Africa to Botswana, away from the snare of poachers. The move is estimated at US$50,000. The company has also pledged to commit a portion of the proceeds from its safari holidays to Rhinos Without Borders during the campaign period.
Why rhinos? There are an estimated 4,000 black rhinos and 20,000 white rhinos left in Africa and they face the perilous threat of being killed by poachers for their horns to be sold in China and Vietnam on the black market. Rhinos Without Borders, initiated by andBeyond and Great Plains Conservation, aims to translocate 100 rhinos from South Africa where poaching is rampant, to their new home in Botswana, renowned for its anti-poaching stance.
This August, in conjunction with the 2015 edition of National Geographic Live in Singapore, Quotient will host a private ‘safari-themed’ afternoon tea for about 60 guests at Tamarind Hill, nestled in the serene environs of Singapore’s Labrador Nature Reserve. At the event, guests will have a chance to get up close and personal with Steve Winter, award-winning National Geographic photographer and explorer, and Les Carlisle, andBeyond’s Conservation Group Manager, who will respectively share their experiences in photographing big cats and moving rhinos. There will be wildlife-themed merchandise for sale, with all proceeds going to Rhinos Without Borders.
Our Give A Wild A Go contest, held over July and August, bridges our financial pledge with our commitment to influence attitudes and behaviour toward wildlife. This 6 week-long contest on our website and social media channels will carry information and conservation messages relating to selected wild creatures — snow leopards, elephants and rhinos — with the intent of raising awareness about various wildlife species and the threats to survival they face.
Quotient will donate S$1 to Rhinos Without Borders for every participant in the contest. Attractive prizes are offered, with the kind support of partners andBeyond, De Dietrich Asia, Auteur Co and The Paper Bunny, to encourage as many participants as possible. The grand prize is a trip for two to South Africa valued at US$10,000.
Overwhelming response to #rhinoscanfly
The Give A Wild A Go contest concluded on 17th August and the winner of the grand prize, Ms Mathilda Kee, was presented with her prize a few days later. Ms Kee will be making her way to South Africa this December.
About 100 guests also showed up on 22nd August for Quotient’s tea fundraiser and were at times enthralled, at times moved, by the sharing of both Winter and Carlisle. Many expressed at the event itself or afterward electronically, their appreciation of the event and support for the meaningful cause. Thank you! The #rhinoscanfly journey is far from over and we’ve not reached our fundraising target. If you are interested to support our campaign, please contact Michelle Tng at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on 14th August, 2015: The venue for the private function now reflects Tamarind Hill. The original venue was stated as Villa Samadhi. Tamarind Hill is the restaurant of the soon-to-be-launched Villa Samadhi Singapore.
Update on 27th November, 2015: Information on the successful completion on Quotient’s Give A Wild A Go contest and private event was added.