British Airways Holidays has announced it will no longer sell tickets to SeaWorld - or any amusement parks and attractions with animals in cramped enclosures - on its website, according to a report in The Sun. The announcement comes weeks after Virgin Holidays made a similar decision.
While tickets to attractions with seemingly captive animals won’t be sold on the British Airways Holidays site, hotels that keep wild animals onsite will be promoted, except from now on they will be labeled as such.
According to the paper, British Airways Holidays has been working with international wildlife charity Born Free, which might have prompted its decision.
“Our customers tell us they have concerns about wild animals being kept in captivity, and increasingly see animal performances in particular as outdated,” said Claire Bentley, managing director of British Airways Holidays, in a statement to The Sun. “We are delighted to have worked with Born Free to develop our new strategy which allows our customers to make more informed choices and we are contacting all our hotel and attraction partners about our new approach.”
SeaWorld CEO Gus Antorcha told the Sun Online Travel, “When radical animal rights activists mislead and manipulate the truth to the detriment of our planet’s critically endangered animals, you have to question their motives. Pressuring companies and trying to shame them into cutting ties with independently accredited zoos and aquariums works against the vital research and conservation work to protect these animals. We are disappointed that British Airways Holidays succumbed to pressure from animal activists and changed its policy given the facts.”
Travel & hospitality reporter Mariel Concepcion can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 858-634-4625.