TripAdvisor will no longer sell tickets to attractions with captive dolphins and whales

Oct 3, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

One of the world’s most popular travel review sites, TripAdvisor, made a game-changing announcement this week: It will “no longer sell tickets to, or generate revenue from, any attraction that continues to contribute to the captivity of future generations of cetaceans.”

The policy applies to both the company’s namesake site and its subsidiary, Viator, and applies to attractions that breed, buy or capture whales, dolphins and porpoises. Among the most well-known? SeaWorld.

Related: The 7 best starter credit cards

The travel platform expects the policy to take full effect by the end of the year, and will remove attractions found in violation of the new rule in the coming months. It won’t, however, apply to seaside sanctuaries that provide care to cetaceans that are already in captivity.

TripAdvisor representatives say the company consulted extensively with biologists, zoologists and conservationists to consider all scientific evidence and arguments from both sides of the issue. The platform says it’s committed to improving the welfare of animals globally, particularly those in tourism.

“The extensive evidence presented to us by the experts was compelling,” said Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor experiences and rentals, in a statement. “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.”

Many experts welcomed the development as a step in the right direction. Nick Stewart, a global head of wildlife at the World Animal Protection nonprofit, added, “This sends a clear message to other travel companies that we must end this cruel industry once and for all.”

TripAdvisor’s policy extension also takes into account 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. For most of the current population of cetaceans, release into the wild is not a realistic option. Therefore, the policy includes several stipulations aimed at protecting the needs, safety and health of cetaceans currently in captivity, too.

TripAdvisor wants to be Facebook for travelers

This announcement comes with a tide of other wildlife-friendly policies and programs sweeping the travel world. As travelers are becoming more conscientious about booking animal encounters, travel companies are taking note. On Thursday, for example, Airbnb revealed a program called “Airbnb Animal Experiences,” through which travelers can arrange animal interactions with local hosts who care for their wellbeing. The experiences are all bound by World Animal Protection guidelines, so that people can responsibly learn more about and connect with their favorite animals.

And in August, New Zealand’s Department of Conservation entirely banned swimming with wild dolphins in the Bay of Islands.

Featured image courtesy of Motoo Fujisawa/EyeEm/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.