Tourists no longer want to watch killer whale and dolphin shows
LONDON, England - Watching killer whales and dolphins perform in marine shows is no longer on the travel bucket list of the average British tourist, according to a new survey.
LONDON, England – Watching killer whales and dolphins perform in marine shows is no longer on the travel bucket list of the average British tourist, according to a new survey.
Growing public awareness of the ethical issues and physical implications of keeping these animals in captivity is changing public opinion, with a 86 percent of those surveyed saying they would not wish to visit a marine park as part of an overseas holiday.
The survey of 2,050 people, was carried out by Censuswide on behalf of ethical travel company, responsibletravel.com, and international wildlife charity, the Born Free Foundation.
Will Travers OBE, President of the Born Free Foundation, said: ‘Are the days of the dolphinarium over? It seems clear that when presented with the information on which to make an informed decision, British travelers have had enough.
‘It is time to bring the curtain down on the exploitation of whales and dolphins in captivity – just like the exploitation of wild animals in traveling circuses.
‘There are no longer any captive dolphins in the UK and I hope that the result of this survey will hasten the day when there are no captive dolphins kept for public entertainment anywhere in the world. We have a responsibility to make that dream a reality.’
Those polled were asked the same question at the beginning of the survey and again at the end, after having read a short statement setting out facts about wild and captive whales and dolphins.
When initially asked, a clear majority, 61 percent said they did not wish to visit an overseas marine park to see whales and dolphins. Of those who declared that they would visit, 64 percent changed their minds after reading the factual statement.
Seventy-five percent of the initial non-supporters felt it was ‘wrong to keep whales and dolphins in small tanks’, whilst a further 19 percent said they ‘don’t support or attend any zoos’.
In April this year, responsibletravel.com and the World Cetacean Alliance launched a petition to encourage the travel industry to stop supporting killer whale and dolphin shows.
The petition has already been signed by over 8,500 individuals, travel companies, charities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other businesses.
Justin Francis, Managing Director at responsibletravel.com said: ‘As public awareness of whale and dolphin captivity issues continues to increase, thanks to films such as ‘Blackfish’ and important campaigns such as our ‘Say NO to orca circuses’ petition with the World Cetacean Alliance Working Group on Captivity, time is ticking faster than ever before for this industry.
‘For too long the travel industry has buried its collective head in the sand on this issue. Just as there was a point when circuses’ time was up, the same is happening with orca circuses.
‘It’s clear that the majority of holidaymakers are not interested in these shows for ethical reasons.
‘The time has come for travel companies, and the representative body ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), to face the facts and stop supporting this irresponsible form of tourism.’