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Travel firm Expedia bans holidays to see captive dolphins and whales

However, the company will continue to visit seaside sanctuaries that do not require animals to perform.

Image: Ana Hace/University of St Andrews/PA

TRAVEL FIRM EXPEDIA has stopped selling holidays which include performances by captive dolphins and whales.

The tourism practice has been criticised by public figures including UK Prime Minister’s wife, Carrie Johnson, with Virgin Holidays announcing in 2019 that it would no longer sell tickets to such attractions and experiences.

Expedia Group said in a tweet: “We recently adjusted our animal welfare policy.

“As a result, attractions and activities that involve performances by or interactions with dolphins and other cetaceans will no longer be available on our sites.”

A spokesman clarified that the company will continue to use “seaside sanctuaries that provide captive animals with a permanent seaside living environment” if these businesses “are accredited and do not feature interactions or performances”.

It comes after Intrepid Travel sparked a domino effect among other companies when it ceased all elephant ride activities in 2014.

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Travel association Abta updated its animal welfare guidelines in January 2020 to class activities with captive elephants and tourist contact or feeding of great apes, bears, crocodiles or alligators, orcas, sloths and wildcats as unacceptable.

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