Journal Article

Tourism, international wildlife trade and the (in)effectiveness of CITES


There are clear links between tourism and the international wildlife trade, especially in countries with high levels of biodiversity and high numbers of international tourists. In the absence of clear regulations and implementation of existing policies, tourists can inadvertently have a negative impact on the environment, including through items bought as souvenirs. Bali is one of the world’s premier tourist destinations. We investigated legally protected species that are offered for sale specifically targeting tourists in Bali. During December 2022–June 2023, we surveyed 66 shops offering curios (skulls, bones, carvings) of animals for which the international trade is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). We found items from >500 individuals of 20 CITES-listed species, including primate skulls, ivory carvings and decorated shells. According to vendors, there would be no problem exporting these items despite the absence of CITES permits. Export records over the last two decades provided by the Indonesian authorities, mostly indicating no exports, contrast sharply with our observations in Bali. A short but effective campaign as a collaborative effort between industry, tourism operators, local and expatriate communities and government agencies could result in a drastic reduction of protected and/or CITES-listed species ending up in trade.

Attached files


Chavez, Jessica
Payuse, I Nyoman Aji Duranegara
Campera, Marco
Nijman, Vincent

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
School of Law and Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-11-16

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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