Expedia Bans ‘Cruel’ Holidays With Captive Whales And Dolphins

by : Julia Banim on : 08 Nov 2021 10:02
Expedia Bans 'Cruel' Holidays With Captive Whales And DolphinsAlamy

Expedia is set to stop selling ‘cruel’ holidays which offer experiences with captive whales and dolphins.

On November 5, the travel company published a series of updated wildlife guidelines, affirming the brand’s commitment to showing ‘respect for the people, animals, and natural environments of our planet’.


The move comes after various campaign groups, as well as high profile figures such as Joanna Lumley and Carrie Johnson, called for an end to such controversial travel experiences.

captive dolphins (Alamy)Alamy

As per these updated guidelines:

We prohibit activities that feature interactions with or performances by dolphins, whales, and other cetaceans.

Seaside sanctuaries that provide captive animals with a permanent seaside living environment are allowed if they are accredited and do not feature interactions or performances.


In a statement published on its website, PETA praised this development, which reportedly follows ‘five years of meetings with and pressure from PETA and after hearing from hundreds of thousands of PETA supporters’.

The animal rights organisation went on to note that the ban comes just after PETA urged supporters to ‘flood Expedia Brands’ president, Jon Gieselman, with calls and messages’.

PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said:

PETA congratulates Expedia for officially rejecting cruel ‘swim with dolphins’ encounters and SeaWorld prisons. PETA urges people to take note and do their part by refusing to support such animal-exploiting operations.

captive dolphins (Alamy)Alamy

Meanwhile, World Animal Protection released a statement praising Expedia for ‘making a stand and no longer driving the captivity of these highly intelligent animals for tourist entertainment’.

Katheryn Wise, Wildlife Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection, UK said:

Through sales and promotion, travel companies play a huge role in driving captive dolphin entertainment and as one of the largest travel companies in the world we are delighted that Expedia Group are making a stand. It’s time for other travel giants like TUI to do the right thing and follow suit.


The organisation went on to note significant changes in attitudes towards captive dolphin entertainment in the past few years, with TripAdvisor and Virgin Holidays ceasing to sell such attractions back in 2019.

Canada, France and Brussels have all implemented bans on keeping whales and dolphins in captivity, while Dutch travel association ANVR and South Africa’s SATSA stipulate that captive cetacean entertainment is ‘unacceptable’ under member organisation guidelines.

Worldwide, over 3,000 dolphins are currently being kept in captivity. Prior to this new ban, as reported by the Mail Online, Expedia was partnered with approximately 50 venues keeping at least 600 captive dolphins.


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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, Dolphins, Now, whales


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