TripAdvisor announced it would not sell tickets to specific experiences where tourists come into “physical contact” with captive wild animals, cutting ties with SeaWorld and other animal attractions, the company said Wednesday.
TripAdvisor and its Viator brand said it would also no longer generate revenue from any attraction that continues to contribute to the captivity of “future generations of cetaceans.” Including whales, dolphins, and porpoises and plans to remove ticket sales within the next couple of months, TripAdvisor said in a released statement.
This new policy will not apply to seaside sanctuaries that provide care to cetaceans already in captivity.
“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, TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals. “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.”
TripAdvisor also banned sales to attractions or experiences where captive wild or endangered animals are forced to perform in front of the general public, like circuses or stage entertainment.
NBC 7 reached out to SeaWorld who sent the following statement:
“We are disappointed by TripAdvisor’s new position that ignores the educational value and conservation mission of professionally accredited zoos and aquariums. SeaWorld believes deeply in the mission of these organizations. As a member of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), certified by American Humane, and accredited by Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), as well as numerous other certifications and accreditations from leading accrediting bodies, SeaWorld maintains the highest standards of care for all animals, including cetaceans. Regardless of TripAdvisor’s position, SeaWorld will continue to advance education and animal conservation efforts along with our millions of supporters, professional scientists, and other science-based organizations around the world,” said Dr. Chris Dold, SeaWorld’s Chief Zoological Officer.
This announcement comes after TripAdvisor’s 2016 policy on their industry-leading animal welfare and enhanced policy in 2018 to include banned demeaning animal shows and performances from sale.
TripAdvisor is an American travel and restaurant website company that shows hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings, and other travel-related content.
Photo Credit: Seaworld video
Source: NBC San Diego