Latest News

Back to Latest News back


TripAdvisor adds Sea World on the Gold Coast to list of attractions it will not sell tickets for

TripAdvisor adds Sea World on the Gold Coast to list of attractions it will not sell tickets for
October 4, 2019

Global tourism reviews platform TripAdvisor will no longer sell tickets to Gold Coast theme park Sea World as part of its worldwide ban to help end the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Overlooking Sea World's conservation activities, TripAdvisor has grouped Sea World alongside attractions that display killer whales and those that clearly exploit animals.

The decision will affect any commercial facility that breeds or imports cetaceans for public display, building on a 2016 ban to attractions where travellers come into physical contact with captive, wild or endangered animals.

TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals President Dermot Halpin explained "dolphins do not thrive in limited captive environments, and we hope to see a future where they live as they should, free and in the wild."

In response, Village Roadshow Theme Parks Chief Operating Officer Bikash Randhawa said the "zoological facility" is regulated by Australian laws and that its approach is very different compared to overseas attractions.

Randhawa told the ABC "to use the same brush and to paint the entire industry with that brush I think is unfair.

"I think it is an announcement that was made in opinion rather than science and accurate information.

"To be clear, TripAdvisor has never been a sales platform for us so in terms of revenue it is minuscule so this is not about revenue for us, it is about getting the information out there on what we do."

Sea World does not hold any killer whales and has long rescued stricken whales, turtles and dolphins, and donates to animal conservation.

Randhawa added "I would urge the CEO of Trip Advisor to come down to the Gold Coast to see the tremendous work we do with animals, the conservation work we do."

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) spokeswoman Emily Rice said the organisation had been in consultation with TripAdvisor since 2016.

Advising that the decision was about supporting more ethical tourism, Rice stated "displaying animals in a habitat which is far from natural for them and using them in shows and for profit and to do tricks is very far removed from conservation.

"Conservation is about protecting the environments and bettering the lives of animals in the wild, not keeping them in what is essentially the equivalent of a bathtub."

Rice made no comment about Sea World's conservation activities.

Images: Dolphin displays at Sea World (top and below) and protests have previously targetted Sea World (middle).

Related Articles

11th September 2019 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks reveal schedule for opening of new Sea World attractions

30th August 2019 - Qantas to end promotion of attractions featuring captive cetaceans

28th August 2019 - Sea World team releases pair of rehabilitated green turtles

15th June 2019 - Coffs Harbour Dolphin Marine Conservation Park moves forward sea-pen sanctuary plan

25th May 2019 - Village Roadshow reveals $50 million investment into Gold Coast theme parks

22nd May 2019 - Clark Kirby explains his drive to ‘challenge everything’ within Village Roadshow Theme Parks

21st May 2019 - Sea World Cruises launch new whale watching vessel

20th May 2019 - Village Roadshow’s Gold Coast theme parks boosted by recent visitor numbers

28th March 2019 - SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium officially opens its Animal Rescue Centre

15th December 2018 - Animal activists disrupt Sea World dolphin and seal shows

14th November 2018 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks set to launch its biggest Summer Ever

27th February 2017 - Sea World Polar Bears highlight conservation cause on International Polar Bear Day

6th December 2016 - Sea World Rescue Team rehabilitates injured dolphin

30th September 2016 - Sea World and University of Queensland dugong research identifies importance of habitat protection

15th October 2016 - TripAdvisor bans ticket sales to attractions that allow contact with wild animals

16th August 2014 - TripAdvisor announces Traveller’s Choice awards for zoos and aquariums

19th July 2012 - Dreamworld and WhiteWater World thrilled with TripAdvisor ratings

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Humanforce is a global provider of workforce management solutions for companies who need flexibility to manage complex workforces. Companies use Humanforce to manage everything from time and…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Technology / Venues


Jonas Leisure

JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport



Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces


Altitude Training Systems

ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology



Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation



SPORTENG specialises in the Planning, Design and Construction inspection of Fields of Play for all sports. Blending engineering with the specialist knowledge gained from working closely with sport…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces / Venues



Hidroplay welcomes you to the exciting world of children's Playscapes, waterslide's and Water Attractions. Appealing to families, Hidroplay increases patronage in your facility during those…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation


State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see

read more



get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business