Thomas Cook ends sales of holiday destinations with captive cetaceans including dolphins, orcas & whales
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Travel agency Thomas Cook has ended the sale of any holiday destinations with captive cetaceans, such as dolphins, orcas or whales in their bid to support better animal welfare. The latest move is an extension to its previous decision to take all attractions with captive orcas off sale prior to its 2019 collapse.
Now, the brand, reborn in 2020 as an online travel agency, is extending this stance to facilities where other cetaceans such as dolphins and whales are held in captivity. Thomas Cook said customer feedback had revealed that while customers were keen to enjoy animals when on holidays, they had particular concerns over captive dolphins.
Thomas Cook said the move coincides with a relaunched ticket and excursion offer, which will instead see them promote wild-watching experiences for whales and dolphins, allowing people to experience these animals in their own habitat.
Thomas Cook chief executive Alan French said: “We know that for our customers going to a zoo or an aqua park is an important part of their holiday and we only want to offer those experiences when we’re confident they abide by the highest welfare standards and are not built on animal suffering.
"We have taken the decision to offer only wild-watching experiences for whales and dolphins to help our customers experience these intelligent and sociable animals in their natural habitat."
French added that while bookings had rebounded strongly post-pandemic, the brand had also witnessed a fall in demand "for activities that harm the environment or animals". He continued: "Our customers care about these issues, and we are proud to be matching those sentiments. It has been an easy decision to make.”