Home Publisher's Point of View TripAdvisor Updates Animal Welfare Policy to Further Protect Dolphins, Whales

TripAdvisor Updates Animal Welfare Policy to Further Protect Dolphins, Whales

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Glenn Hasek

Living here in Florida, I am blessed to be able to see dolphins almost every time I go to the beach. They are beautiful animals and it is always great to see them swim freely. I have yet to see a whale swim in the wild but if I did, I would feel the same about their beauty and freedom. Unless held for rehabilitation, there is a lot wrong about holding cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) captive.

Two days ago, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel platform, updated its animal welfare policy and announced it and its Viator brand will no longer sell tickets to, or generate revenue from, any commercial facility that either breeds or imports cetaceans for public display. It is about time.

Products currently on sale and found to breach the new rules will be removed over the next few months, with the policy in full force by the end of 2019. The new policy will not apply to seaside sanctuaries that provide care to cetaceans already in captivity.

The decision follows an extensive consultation process with a range of experts, including marine biologists, zoologists and conservationists, and considered the scientific evidence and arguments presented from all sides.

It’s Time to Phase Out Captivity

“The extensive evidence presented to us by the experts was compelling,” said Dermot Halpin, President, TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals, in a press release about the decision. “Whales and dolphins do not thrive in limited captive environments, and we hope to see a future where they live as they should—free and in the wild. We believe the current generation of whales and dolphins in captivity should be the last, and we look forward to seeing this position adopted more widely throughout the travel industry.”

TripAdvisor’s announcement represents the latest extension of its animal welfare policy, which first launched in 2016. The policy already commits TripAdvisor and Viator to no longer sell tickets to experiences where travelers come into physical contact with captive wild animals, such as elephant ride and tiger petting experiences. It was further enhanced in 2018, at which point TripAdvisor also banned demeaning animal shows and performances from sale.

What is your company or property’s policy regarding animal attractions? Do you direct your guests to them without knowing the circumstances around the animals’ captivity? What do you really know about the types of companies you allow to advertise in your card rack displays?

Not long after I first moved to Florida, I visited a “zoo” in Dade City called Wild Things. At the time I was not impressed at all by the conditions the animals were living in. The tour guide knew almost nothing about the animals. In August, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department arrested the owner, charging her with three felonies related to alleged fraudulent solicitation of donations and theft of donor funds. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has filed numerous complaints about the facility. I am ashamed to have paid even one dollar to them.

Do your homework before helping to promote such “attractions.”

Green Lodging News Adds Gfl to Green Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News has added Gfl to its Green Product & Service Directory. Gfl is a privately-owned Swiss company, with 24 years of expertise in the amenities field, producing and distributing cosmetics around the globe. The company is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment through green policies and cutting-edge technologies. Its bottles, dispensers, and packaging are easily disposable, designed to optimize transportation, and to reduce CO2 emissions. Its cosmetic ranges have been developed to respect severe quality standards, many reaching the criteria of the most renowned certifications. Call Gfl USA Inc. at (718) 414-2554 or e-mail info@gflamenities.com. In Europe call +41 91 9607500 or e-mail info@gflamenities.com.

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Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

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