Cruel Captive Dolphin Shows Now Off the Itinerary for Expedia

3 Mins Read

After years of campaigning by animal rights campaigners, Expedia has moved to remove sales of trips and activities involving cruel captive dolphin shows.

Expedia, the largest online travel platform in the US, has taken captive dolphin shows off its website. It adjusted its animal welfare policy after years of campaigning by NGOs including PETA and World Animal Protection (WAP), and will no longer be selling any trips, attractions or activities that involve performances and interactions with cetaceans. 

Related: Can robot dolphins make cruelty-free aquariums a reality?

No more cruel animal performances

Places like SeaWorld and other “swim with dolphin” encounters provide entertainment to human beings, but the dark reality is that the animals are kept away from their natural habitats. 

Kept in confined tanks, dolphins, cetaceans and other marine mammals do not eat, socialise, reproduce, exercise or behave naturally—and many have to be treated with ulcer and antidepressants as a result of their cruel living conditions and forced behaviours. Dolphins and whales often die prematurely as a result of their stressful captive lives. 

After years of campaigning by animal welfare activists, Expedia has now updated its policy to reflect the harsh reality of animal performance shows. These include whale and dolphin interactions, and circus-style performances involving captive cetaceans, all of which are now prohibited on the website. 

Related: Ocean Park ends exploitative dolphin & sea lion show after activist pressure

‘More travel companies need to do the same’

Commenting on the news, WAP programs director Cameron Harsh said that Expedia’s move was a “significant step towards ending dolphin cruelty and making this the last generation of dolphins and whales in captivity for entertainment,” but urged for “more travel companies that have yet to take this step do the same.”

“This is a huge victory for whales and dolphins around the world,” added WAP global head of wildlife Nick Stewart. “We will not stop until the cruel commercial exploitation of dolphins and other wildlife is ended, forever. Dolphins are wild animals, not entertainers.”

PETA has also welcomed the move by Expedia, noting that the platform has now joined the ranks of Tripadvisor and Southwest Airlines, both of which have stopped selling tickets to marine mammal parks like SeaWorld. 

“PETA congratulates Expedia for officially rejecting cruel ‘swim with dolphins’ encounters and SeaWorld prisons,” shared PETA executive VP Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges people to take note and do their part by refusing to support such animal-exploiting operations.”

All images courtesy of Unsplash.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

You might also like