Travel giant Expedia bans sale of holidays with captive dolphins and whales

Travel giant Expedia has banned the sale of ‘cruel’ holidays involving dolphins and whales.

Campaigners now hope other companies will follow suit.

Confirming the decision, a spokesman for Expedia, whose website is visited about 3.3 million times a month by Britons, said: ‘We prohibit activities that feature interactions with or performances by dolphins, whales and other cetaceans.

‘Seaside sanctuaries that provide captive animals with a permanent seaside living environment are allowed if they are accredited and do not feature interactions or performances.’

Katheryn Wise, UK campaigns manager at charity World Animal Protection, said: ‘This is amazing news and something that we have been campaigning for since 2019.

‘More than 350,000 supporters joined us in signing petitions, raising awareness online and hitting the streets to ask Expedia to make this change.

‘We are so pleased that they have listened.’

She added: ‘Through sales and promotion, travel companies play a huge role in driving captive dolphin entertainment and, as one of the largest travel companies in the world, we are delighted that Expedia is making a stand.’

There were once 30 dolphinariums in the UK, but after a campaign led by the charity Born Free, public support waned and by 2003 the last captive dolphin attraction shut its doors.

However, many families still travel abroad to see the creatures – more than 3,000 dolphins are kept in captivity around the world. Before its ban, Expedia had partnerships with around 50 venues housing at least 600 dolphins.

Reviews website TripAdvisor has stopped promoting such holidays and the Government recently announced a forthcoming ban on UK firms advertising elephant-riding holidays.