Following an appeal from the animal rights charity PETA, the American travel operators have stopped selling customers tickets to SeaWorld and removed any affiliations with the theme park from their United Vacations website.
In addition to this boycott and thanks to another PETA petition, Sir Richard Branson’s travel company Virgin Holidaysrecently disassociated themselves with the cruel holiday park. They join the ever-increasing list of travel companies that refuse to partner with SeaWorld including Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, STA Travel, and Aimia (formerly Groupe Aeroplan).
When the film Blackfish was released in 2013 – a documentary concerning the captivity of Tilikum and the consequences of keeping orcas in captivity, ticket sales for SeaWorld dropped.
In February 2018 former SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby stepped down from his role, following reports of declines in park attendance and total revenue.
According to PETA’s campaign website SeaWorldofHurt, in the past year, the park has incurred a net loss of $202.4 million and a 5.5 per cent decrease in visitors.
However, the theme park is still a popular attraction, despite ongoing concerns for the animals’ welfare.
Two former SeaWorld trainers have reported that wales were drugged and starved and orcas live in cramped, concrete tanks, deprived of their natural surroundings. More than 40 orcas and hundreds of dolphins have died at SeaWorld parks over the years from health issues such as severe trauma, intestinal gangrene, and chronic cardiovascular failure. SeaWorld has continued to deny these claims.
PETA Senior Vice President, Lisa Lange commented: “United Airlines made the right call to cut ties with a park that confines orcas and other dolphins to concrete tanks that, to them, are the size of bathtubs. SeaWorld is still breeding generation after generation of dolphins to be ridden around like surfboards in sea circus shows, and PETA urges anyone who cares about animals to stay away.”
PETA are now urging AAA Motor clubs to also drop ties with SeaWorld and PETA continue to campaign against the cruel ‘abusement’ park.