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Event Details

Whales and dolphins in tourism: transitioning to a responsible future

Convention Awards

March 6, 2020

11:00 - 12:00

Palais am Funkturm, ITB Convention Awards

How travel industry leadership and support is vital to phase out captivity of cetaceans for entertainment purposes and increase responsibility of wild whale and dolphin watching operations.

The captive dolphin entertainment industry and whale and dolphin watching are both multi-billion-dollar industries. But what does a responsible future for whales and dolphins in tourism look like? This event will present the issues of exploiting captive whales and dolphins for entertainment purposes and the essential role the travel industry can play in supporting change. Ocean sanctuaries for whales and dolphins currently in captivity are one part of the solution, but only an end to captive breeding, imports and wild-capture with an increased availability of responsible alternatives will ensure this is the last generation of whales and dolphins in captivity.

Highlights will include key findings from World Animal Protection’s recent Behind the Smile report; World Cetacean Alliance presenting the opportunities for responsible whale and dolphin watching including turning whole destinations into Whale Heritage Sites and beacons of best practice; and Whale and Dolphin Conservation introducing the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales and their goal to provide alternative, more natural homes for captive whales and dolphins. A leading travel brand will also present their perspective on corporate leadership and travel industry support for a dolphin-friendly future. Presentations will be followed by a moderated panel discussion on how a vision for a responsible future can be achieved.

Greeting and Introduction:

Nick Stewart, Global Head of Campaign, World Animal Protection

Keynote Speaker:

Rob Lott, End Captivity Policy Manager, Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Rachel McCaffery, Senior Advisor, Responsible Travel, G Adventures

Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, Global Head of Research and Animal Welfare, World Animal Protection

Dylan Walker, CEO, World Cetacean Alliance

Moderated by:

Jeremy Smith, writer, speaker and sustainable tourism consultant