TripAdvisor Ends Ticket Sale To All Attractions That Import And Breed Dolphins And Whales
The travel review website and its subsidiary, Viator, will no longer sell tickets or earn any money from anywhere that actively imports or breeds dolphins, whales and porpoises for public display, it has announced.
The company's director of corporate communications, James Kay, explained that to continue a commercial relationship, "[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".
The website adds that any coastal sanctuary established must remain as similar as possible to the creature's natural environment, and must also follow a strict no-breeding policy.
The animals must also not be trained to perform in any shows and must not interact with guests, under the new guidelines.
"We believe the current generation of whales and dolphins in captivity should be the last," said Dermot Halpin, president of experiences and rentals for TripAdvisor.
"Seaside sanctuaries have enormous potential but they need more backing from the tourism industry.
"As long as facilities with captive whales and dolphins continue to profit from keeping these animals in smaller, cheaper and less-natural living environments, then they don't have enough incentive to adopt serious change."
All attractions in breach of these rules will be removed from sale over the next few months, with plans that all ties will be cut by the end of 2019.
SeaWorld is one of the most famous attractions set to be hit by the new rules, while Tenerife's Loro Parque - whose controversial treatment of sea creatures was also highlighted in Netflix's Blackfish - will also be affected.
While SeaWorld has committed to not breeding any more orcas, it has not promised to do the same for other cetaceans.
The move has been largely praised by conservation groups and animal activists, with Dolphin Project publicly thanking TripAdvisor for being "on the right side of history".
View this post on InstagramThank you @TripAdvisor and @Viator for being on the right side of history! TripAdvisor just announced in a press statement that "Any commercial facility that either breeds or imports cetaceans for public display will be banned from sale on TripAdvisor and Viator." Thank you to all of you who spoke out to these companies and asked them to stop promoting captive facilities. Let's continue to urge more travel companies to follow suit- tap the link in our bio for a guide to do so! #DolphinProject #EmptyTheTanks #ThanksButNoTanks
A post shared by Dolphin Project (@dolphin_project) on
It comes after Virgin Holidays axed SeaWorld packages earlier this year, pledging to "stop selling and promoting captive cetacean (whale and dolphin) experiences, as we look to focus on offering customers more natural, at-distance encounters with these animals".
Research from the brand showed that 92 per cent of UK holidaymakers said they would rather see animals in their natural habitats.
Bravo, TripAdvisor for following suit.
Featured Image Credit: PA