TripAdvisor dissociates with attractions breeding captive whales and dolphins

In a great move to clear its stance towards animal welfare, American online travel company headquartered in Massachusetts, TripAdvisor has announced that it will stop selling tickets to tourist attractions that breed or import captive cetaceans such as porpoises, whales and dolphins used for public display.

As per this updated policy on animal welfare, TripAdvisor and its subsidiary Viator, by the end of this year, will not sell tickets to venues that contribute towards the captivity of cetaceans.

However, the company has confirmed that this prohibition will not be applicable to facilities that have developed seaside sanctuary environments that resemble a natural habitat.

“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,” said Dermot Halpin, President of TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals in a statement. “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.”

This decision follows several rounds of consultations with experts such as marine biologists and conservationists and has been welcomed by animal welfare groups across the world.

Some very popular holiday destinations such as SeaWorld and Georgia Aquarium will not be available to the travel site. Further, these companies will not be able to advertise on TripAdvisor.

“They 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,” said James Kay, director of corporate communications for TripAdvisor.

Isn’t this a great move and a step in the right direction towards animal welfare? Do you think other travel companies must follow suit? Do let us know your views in the comments section below.

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