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.
It 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 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.
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 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.