TripAdvisor Bans Tickets To SeaWorld And All Tourist Attractions With Whales And Dolphins
TripAdvisor has just announced it will no longer be selling tickets or generating revenue from any attraction that involves the captivity of whales, dolphins or porpoises.
The travel platform has said it will ban the sale of tickets to ‘any commercial facility that either breeds or imports cetaceans for public display.’
This means tickets to places like SeaWorld and other attractions which ‘continue to contribute to the captivity of future generations of cetaceans’ will no longer be available to purchase through TripAdvisor, one of the world’s largest travel platforms.
In order to continue a commercial relationship, James Kay, director of corporate communications for TripAdvisor, told The Guardian:
[An attraction] would have to have made a public commitment either to cease all breeding and importation of cetaceans for display with immediate effect or to develop alternative models, such as seaside-sanctuary environments, for the population of captive cetaceans already in their care.
According to TripAdvisor:
The decision follows an extensive consultation process with a range of experts, including marine biologists, zoologists and conservationists, and considered the scientific evidence and arguments presented from all sides. It continues TripAdvisor’s commitment to improving the welfare of animals globally, particularly animals in tourism.
Dermot Halpin, President, TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals said:
The extensive evidence presented to us by the experts was compelling. Whales and dolphins do not thrive in limited captive environments, and we hope to see a future where they live as they should – free and in the wild. We believe the current generation of whales and dolphins in captivity should be the last, and we look forward to seeing this position adopted more widely throughout the travel industry.
The policy does, however, acknowledge that ‘while it is possible to prevent future generations of cetaceans from a life of captivity, for those already in captivity, the situation is different.’ As such, releasing animals currently in captivity is not a realistic option, so TripAdvisor’s new policy also includes a number of stipulations aimed at protecting the needs, safety and health of those currently in captivity.
Our aim is not only to prevent future generations of whales and dolphins from being raised in captivity, but also to encourage the industry to move towards alternative models, like seaside sanctuaries, that will better provide for the needs of the current captive population.
Conservation groups and animal welfare experts welcomed the move, saying it is an important step forward. Rob Lott, Policy Manager at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said they are ‘delighted with this bold and progressive welfare initiative’.
While Tracy Reiman, Executive Vice President at PETA said the ‘ethical decision moves cetaceans closer to a day when their captivity has ended and they have returned to their ocean homes.’
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]