Travel Agents

Virgin Holidays leads by example in sealife tourism

Hannah Edensor

Hannah Edensor

UK holiday company, Virgin Holidays, has taken a stand against tourism that benefits from captive sea life such as whales, dolphins and porpoises, which are collectively known as cetaceans.

The company has committed to ceasing the sale or promotion of any new attractions or hotels that feature these captive creatures for theatrical or entertainment purposes, and is partnering with leading animal welfare organisations to spread the word far and wide.

Urging other travel companies to follow suit, managing director David Geer said, “We believe that business should be a force for positive change. Virgin Holidays is committed to a constructive, ongoing relationship with our current suppliers who care for captive cetaceans and will work closely with them to raise standards across the board.

“However, we believe the way tourists interact with captive whales and dolphins needs to change and we want to play an active role in supporting this transition.”

Publishing its ‘Virgin Pledge on Sea Mammals’ in 2014, the company committed to only working with facilities that agreed to not take animals from the wild.

Virgin Holidays today published an updated position on their pledge, which states:

  1. Not add any new attractions that feature captive whales and dolphins for any entertainment purposes to the Virgin Holidays portfolio – with immediate effect;
  2. Work with existing partners to encourage evolution of their product offering to reflect changing consumer tastes and ensure compliance with recognised animal welfare standards;
  3. Support the creation of coastal sanctuaries for whales and dolphins and promote conservation in their natural habitats through a six figure donation supporting Virgin Holiday’s long term vision for captive cetaceans in tourism
  4. Increase promotion of responsible wild whale and dolphin watching and coastal sanctuaries;
  5. Support international co-operation to end the capture of wild cetaceans and discourage the building of new attractions where cetaceans will be used for entertainment purposes.

The latest initiative has been warmly received by leading tourism attractions and prominent cetacean charities including The Born Free Foundation, WDC and the World Cetacean Alliance whose Honorary President is renowned oceanographer and environmentalist Jean Michel Cousteau.

Cousteau said, “Virgin Holidays announcement clearly sets out its vision for the future, seeks a collaborative approach, and identifies mechanisms to solve the many challenges facing whales and dolphins in tourism today.

“Too often this issue has lacked a catalyst for change from within the tourism sector. I believe that all whales and dolphins deserve the chance to feel the ocean, interact in the natural environment, and utilise their extraordinary sense of sound in ways they could never do in captivity.

“Today’s announcement is a very important milestone in our journey towards that goal.”

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Travel Agents

What every travel agent can learn from actor Samuel Johnson

by Huntley Mitchell

Actor and charity founder Samuel Johnson had plenty of takeaways for travel agents at a recent conference, which you take away here.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Passenger plane carrying 233 makes emergency landing in cornfield

The pilots that pulled off this heroic landing are receiving more praise than our intern when he restocks the office Tim Tam supply, and that’s saying something.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

REVEALED: All the winners from Virtuoso’s 2019 Best of the Best awards

Congratulations to all the exceptional travel companies (including a you-beaut Australian resort) that took home shiny gongs at Virtuoso’s Best of the Best awards!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Contiki Australia announce new boss, TTNQ appoints CEO + MORE!

What better way to contemplate throwing in your resignation for greener pastures than by reading this week’s sure-to-make-you-jealous roundup of top-notch industry appointments?

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Twitter melts over hot pilot after passenger “kind of” gets plane to himself

Twitter has some strong opinions about a viral video of a passenger getting a “private jet” experience. Not because the plane was empty, or because the airline said he didn’t fly on it, but because of a split-second encounter with a dreamy pilot.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Aussie influencer detained in Bali, forced to pay $40,000 over prescription medication

Between helping influencers avoid jail time and sorting out the guy who fly-kicked a scooter, DFAT has no doubt become well acquainted with Balinese police this week.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Australian entrepreneur dead after falling overboard from cruise ship

by Huntley Mitchell

In tragic news, an Australian man has died after falling overboard on a cruise ship bound for the US Virgin Islands.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: italktravel & cruise at home launches, TTC hosts Eden Ministry, win big with Brand USA + MORE

What’s better than reading about agents on cool famils and winning free stuff? Finally reaching Friday!

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

WIN a gift hamper from the The Goods Tube: Just another reason to attend Travel DAZE

As if learning gems of knowledge and practical tips from the best in this business wasn’t enough, we have a few more tricks up our sleeve for Travel DAZE 2019.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

ATTN: Two weeks left to enter The Travel Awards 2019!

If you’re still planing on entering The Travel Awards 2019 but are yet to complete your submission, the time to get your s***t together is now!

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Qantas, Webjet & Flight Centre among travel companies hardest hit by ASX fall

by Christian Fleetwood

Australian travel companies were among those on the receiving end of a drop in share prices at the opening of the ASX200 this morning.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel wrap: Hilton’s big Canberra plan, Upgradus launches in Australia, New Bali beach club + MORE!

This week’s hotel wrap is so huge that it’s left Travel Weekly’s reporter with RSI in his fingers, palms and wrists.

Share

CommentComments