ABTA, the UK Travel Association, has launched a significant report entitled “Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism”. Initially for use for ABTA members, the tour operators Thomas Cook, TUI, Virgin Holidays and Cosmos, the guidance provides the first ever global guidelines on animal welfare for the tourism industry.
Animal attractions such as dolphinaria, featuring captive dolphins performing in circus-style shows, and “posing” for photographs with tourists or swimming with them, are popular with holidaymakers. But on their return home, many holidaymakers contact their tour operators or organisations such as WDC with their concerns about the places they have visited and the welfare of the animals they have seen or interacted with. ABTA’s initiative aims to address some of those concerns, by providing, among other things, specific guidance for tour operators, tourist boards in holiday destinations and other sectors of the tourism industry, on health, welfare and conditions concerning animal attractions promoted by the industry.
WDC hopes it will be strictly adhered to by ABTA members and others and provide a first step towards an end to tour operator promotion of facilities holding and displaying captive whales and dolphins to international tourists.