PETA’s Campaign to End TUI’s Support of Orca Abuse

Posted by on May 3, 2024 | Permalink

Update (3 April 2024): PETA, RSPCA, and Others Band Together for Orcas
Following Jet2holidays’ decision to cut ties with cruel marine parks, a coalition of the UK’s largest animal protection organisations, including groups that specialise in cetacean welfare, rushed a letter to TUI Managing Director Andrew Flintham calling out the company for still selling tickets to marine abusement parks like SeaWorld that keep orcas and other dolphins captive for entertainment. TUI is the last major travel provider in the UK to support this abusive industry, prioritising profit over animal welfare.

Reportedly, TUI has been conducting an internal review of its animal welfare policy for many months, but it has failed to take decisive action and continues to provide a financial lifeline to facilities that confine cetaceans to cramped tanks for tourists to gawp at. The groups asked Flintham when he expects the review to be complete and urged him to end TUI’s support of cruel orca prisons.

Signees include the RSPCA, World Animal Protection, Born Free Foundation, World Cetacean Alliance, Humane Society International/UK, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and Marine Connection.

“There is ample scientific evidence showing that captivity is wholly incompatible with the complex needs of orcas and other dolphins. At SeaWorld, one of the venues TUI promotes, at least 44 orcas and dozens of other dolphins have died from severe trauma, intestinal gangrene, chronic cardiovascular failure, and other diseases, all far short of their natural life expectancy.”
– PETA and other groups in their letter to TUI

Update (1 April 2024): Morrissey Blasts TUI for Profiting From Marine Park Cruelty
Following his involvement with PETA’s campaign that led Jet2holidays to cut ties with cruel marine parks, long-time PETA supporter, musician, and activist Morrissey sent an urgent letter to TUI Managing Director Andrew Flintham. In it, Morrissey calls on Flintham to follow suit and drop facilities like SeaWorld that keep orcas and other dolphins in captivity from the company’s holiday packages.

“There’s no excuse for promoting – and profiting from – this cruelty. Anyone with a thinking bone in their body – or a drop of compassion – knows that not only does captivity kill the spirit of these imprisoned, intelligent, social beings, it often kills them.”
– Morrissey

Marine Parks Are Prisons

Orcas and other dolphins are intelligent animals. When kept in marine parks, they suffer from social, physical, and psychological stress. Intense confinement causes frustration, resulting in abnormal behaviour, and they often break their teeth by gnawing at the sides of their tanks.

In nature, orcas form complex relationships, work cooperatively to find food, and can traverse up to 150 miles of ocean every day. However, those at marine parks are housed in incompatible groups in cramped concrete tanks – which can be 10,000 times smaller than their natural home range.

Kept in concrete prisons for decades and forced to perform demeaning tricks for tourists, the majority of captive orcas die far short of their natural life expectancy.

TUI Is the Last Major Travel Provider to Profit From Dolphin Abuse

After hearing from PETA entities, other travel companies – including Jet2holidays, Expedia, Tripadvisor, Thomas Cook, Virgin Atlantic Holidays, British Airways Holidays, Club Med, Airbnb, and – have stopped selling tickets to places that keep orcas and other dolphins in tanks for entertainment. TUI is the last major provider to continue prioritising profit over animal welfare.

Ticket Sales Fuel Cruelty to Animals

Marine parks can only continue confining animals to cramped tanks as long they sell tickets. Don’t give facilities like these a lifeline – visit animal-free attractions instead.

Take Action for Orcas

Urge TUI executives to implement a company policy banning the promotion and sale of tickets to marine parks: