Five-Year Agreement Will Seek to Combat Global Crisis That Could Lead to Species Extinction and Threaten Caribbean Tourism
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– JetBlue (Nasdaq:JBLU) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced they are joining forces to encourage and empower travelers to play a role in protecting the beauty and wildlife of one of the world’s most popular destination regions, the Caribbean. An increase in illegal wildlife trade in the area is contributing to the decline and potential extinction of animal species such as sea turtles, parrots, iguanas and coral.
“Tourism brings 22 million visitors a year to the Caribbean. Degradation of wildlife and biodiversity is a risk to demand for air travel to the region, thus impacting JetBlue,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue. “We’ve joined with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a large-scale dialogue and action highlighting the numerous ways to travel, eat and shop in the Caribbean, leaving the region stable for future tourism.”
On World Wildlife Day (March 3), JetBlue and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed a five-year agreement, which will launch with a customer education and awareness campaign. The Service and JetBlue will work together beyond the initial inflight video to develop online content, social media campaigns and strategies that will seek to reduce demand for illegal wildlife.
JetBlue will use one of its core differentiators – seatback TVs available at every seat on all flights – to inform customers about responsible travel and shopping practices in the Caribbean. Through an online casting call, JetBlue will recruit Caribbean locals including those in the travel industry to tell their stories in a short inflight video. Participants will discuss their commitment and efforts to protect the future of tourism and the natural resources of their local communities and countries. The video will highlight stories that showcase tangible solutions are underway. Champions of Caribbean conservation can share their stories through March 27 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/caribbeancasting. (Please note – JetBlue is solely responsible for this casting call and will have complete control over any information collected using this link.)
“The Caribbean is considered to be a wildlife trafficking hotspot,” said Service Director Dan Ashe. “We are thrilled to work with JetBlue to empower travelers and Caribbean residents to reduce demand for illegal wildlife. We are committed to protecting these special places and species, and with the public as our partners, we can support conservation worldwide by asking questions and learning the facts before buying any wildlife or plant product.”
JetBlue’s Commitment to the Environment – Natural resources and a healthy environment contribute to JetBlue’s business running smoothly. These resources are essential for the airline to continue flying to these destinations and tourism relies on having beautiful, natural and preserved destinations for customers to visit. The airline focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business. Customers, crewmembers and community are key to JetBlue’s sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations behind changes that help to reduce the airline’s environmental impact. For more on JetBlue’s conservation initiatives, visit jetblue.com/green.
JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline™, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 35 million customers a year to 96 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 900 daily flights. For more information please visit jetblue.com.
About The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information, visit www.fws.gov, or connect with us through any of these social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.