TripAdvisor, which is considered one of the world’s most popular travel sites, plans to stop selling the tickets to any theme park or destination that has whales, dolphins or porpoises for public display. The display of the above-mentioned species is a new method incorporated by people to engage the target tourist spots such as SeaWorld parks which have been the target of animal rights groups for years because of its treatment to killer whales. With the continued protest, SeaWorld decided in 2016 to end its orca breeding program but continues to put on shows with the orcas it has.
Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor’s experiences and rentals, in a statement to the media, said: “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.”
SeaWorld’s chief zoological officer Chris Dold said he was immensely disappointed by TripAdvisor’s new position that ignores the educational value and conservation mission of professionally accredited zoos and aquariums.
He added that “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.”
According to TripAdvisor it declined to name specific destinations affected by the policy, but said it would make an exception for seaside sanctuaries which is defined as a “natural body of coastal water, such as a bay or a cove that houses cetaceans” and “must not train their animals to perform in any shows or performance for public display.”
Comscore, an audience measuring company that said the TripAdvisor website had over 82 million unique visitors in August 2019 ranked TripAdvisor as the most popular travel site.
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