When it comes to offering and selling tickets to attractions that involve animals, is there a difference between educating people on animals in captivity versus exploiting animals? At Watersports Bali- we say NO.
From the beginning, we have chosen not to offer our guests any activities that assist in exploiting animals. It was a huge business decision, as we were well aware of the risk of losing guests who were requesting such activities. Our partners have always backed us up on this decision, so we never have a problem referring the guest to them directly. We just choose to disaffiliate ourselves by not offering the option.
Bali’s natural environment is already at such a risk with all the pollution and rubbish issues that containing these animals in an unnatural environment so that tourists can interact with them, is just asking for more issues. Most of the operators that are bringing tourists to these locations are drawing in the animals with food that is unnatural to their normal diet, so that in itself is already a disruption to their welfare. Currently, there have been findings that 2-4 million tourists per year pay to visit attractions that are considered harmful to animal welfare…and Bali alone has an average of over 4 million tourists visiting every year that are participating in water activities, in some shape or form.
Only until recently has Trip Advisor made the decision to stop offering, promoting and selling tickets to attractions where tourists come into contact with wild animals or endangered species held in captivity. This type of decision is the first of its kind by a travel booking site, and not to mention one of the biggest. Their proposal will be trying to make a statement to its travellers – in which they should try to make more conscious and thoughtful decisions when choosing activities on their holiday.
We are not speaking poorly of our friends in the water industry by any means. Nor are we judging them for offering these activities. We stand by our decision not to exploit animals in ANY WAY, in hopes that our partners and guests will respect that. We love this beautiful island of Bali and want to help promote it for that very reason, its beauty. It is one of the most magical places in the world. And it would be nothing without all the beautiful animals that inhabit it.
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