Deep disappointment as Expedia Group has decided to continue profiting from dolphin cruelty
The travel company’s new animal policy states it will work with venues ‘accredited’ by the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA), even though WAZA is known for not enforcing high animal welfare standards
We believe this move from Expedia Group is an empty commitment, which allows it to continue exploiting dolphins in captivity for profit through ticket sales and promotion.
Expedia Group's latest policy falls short of the bar set by recent commitments from other global travel companies, such as TripAdvisor, Virgin Holidays, Airbnb and Booking.com.
We have serious concerns with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) for not holding member and affiliated facilities to high enough animal welfare standards.
Its code of ethics state that activities should ‘not demean or trivialise the animal in any way’. However, our recent report discovered that numerous WAZA member venues are breaking these rules, causing immense suffering for wild animals.
By aligning itself with WAZA’s poor track record of enforcing animal welfare standards, Expedia Group is attempting to fool people into believing it cares about wild animals.
Expedia Group’s new animal policy claims that when done ‘responsibly and thoughtfully’, activities involving animals can help foster connections with the natural world and contribute towards conservation efforts.
But seeing dolphins perform circus-style tricks in tiny artificial enclosures doesn’t bring people closer to understanding the natural world.
Our data shows that almost a third of all dolphin venues worldwide fall under Expedia Group’s new policy: at least 96 dolphin venues, which keep over 1,190 dolphins.
Melissa Matlow, our Campaign Director, said: “We’re extremely disappointed by Expedia Group’s decision. We have serious concerns with WAZA for not holding member and affiliated facilities to high enough standards of animal welfare. Expedia Group’s new animal policy is simply a tactic to fool people into believing they care about dolphins. The reality is even if a tank is accredited at an entertainment venue, that is still hundreds of thousands of times smaller than a dolphin’s natural home. These animals belong in the wild, not entertaining tourists.”
We won’t back down
Despite this disappointing update, we won’t end our campaign against Expedia Group. We’re urging it to reconsider its policy and end support for these inhumane tourist attractions.
305,700 of you around the world have already signed our petition urging it to end dolphin-cruelty and the number is growing.
Many leading travel companies have done the right thing by wild animals recently – so let’s keep the pressure on Expedia Group and ensure it follows their lead.