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Animal Welfare Policy

    At ATD Travel Services, we aim to Add Happiness® to our customers’ holidays.  We take our responsibility in providing over 1 million attraction tickets and holiday experiences annually very seriously. We carefully review all the products we sell and regularly evaluate suppliers to ensure that their codes of conduct and values are aligned with ours and with the expectations of our customers.

    In addition to rollercoasters, helicopter rides and waterparks, experiences involving animals are some of the most popular attraction tickets that we sell.  Our customers value the opportunity to learn more about animals and to observe and interact with them in a responsible and safe way.

    At ATD, we abhor animal poaching, mistreatment and big game hunting, and this animal welfare policy was introduced in April 2017 after a 4 month audit. 

    We are not experts in animal and orca welfare which is why our policy relies on accreditation from European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA).  

    Animal welfare should be at the forefront of all our minds – as should other worldwide issues involving the tourism industry such as human rights, sustainability and environmental pollution. We all have a responsibility to act ethically and support the causes that mean the most to us.

    The survival rate of whale calves born in the wild is plummeting due, in all likelihood to pollution and plastics in the ocean.  Organisations such as www.plasticoceans.org are committed to solving this plastic pollution crisis and we choose to actively support this work.  There is currently no viable, humane and proven alternative for orcas who have spent their lives in captivity.  They cannot be released into the wild and adequate sea sanctuaries do not currently exist in necessary number.  Furthermore orcas sent to sanctuaries would be exposed to plastic and pollutions that could cause harm.  They would also have to cope with the trauma of being transported internationally.

    Organisations such as SeaWorld invest heavily in research and conservation and actively work towards protecting and saving species in the wild. SeaWorld has a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and has committed to donate $50m over the next five years to fight illegal fishing of whales and seals and end shark finning.

    Every person who visits these parks contributes towards this and we believe that this bigger picture is where our attention should be focused.

    We will continue to sell and support SeaWorld and other animal attractions as long as they continue to meet all the necessary international accreditations from the expert organisations and comply with all other elements of our animal welfare policy, which are:

    • To meet or exceed all national regulations and laws on animal welfare, governed by local law
    • To have obtained accreditation from internationally recognised associations in the field – such as the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA), the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA).  Thereby to meet or exceed all accreditation standards and abide by all related policies
    • To adhere to all local and international zoological regulations
    • Not to take or accept any animals from the wild; or if this is deemed necessary (for the wellbeing of the animal or conservation of the species), to only work with commercial collectors practising sustainable methods, as approved by the AZA
    • In addition, it is our preference that the facility undertakes research and development projects which directly benefit wildlife populations 

    When this policy was established in April 2017, we reviewed all animal-based tours we sold across Attraction Tickets Direct and DoSomethingDifferent.com. This involved not only orcas but all marine life, elephants and other wildlife, and we pledged our support to end the promotion of cruel facilities worldwide.  As part of this review, DoSomethingDifferent.com signed World Animal Protection's elephant-friendly pledge not to sell, offer or promote venues or activities involving elephant rides and shows. 

    We will continue to seek guidance and support from the relevant authorities and organisations to ensure that the attractions we sell contribute towards the progression of animal welfare in all parts of the tourism industry, and that our approach continues to be a thoughtful and responsible one.

    The attractions and experiences that we removed from sale are: 


    • Phuket Fantasea, Phuket
    • Ton Pariwat Wildlife Sanctuary, Phuket
    • Phang Nga Elephant Park, Phuket
    • Namuang Safari Park, Koh Samui
    • Khoa Yai National Park elephant ride, Bangkok
    • Mae Sa Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai
    • Chiang Dao Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai

    South Africa:

    • Elephant Whispers, Kruger


    • Kuala Gandah elephant sanctuary, Kuala Lumpur


    • Elephant Village, Goa
    • Amber Fort elephant ride, Jaipur

    Dominican Republic:

    • Dolphin Island, Punta Cana
    • Manati Park, Punta Cana
    • Ocean World, Puerto Plata


    • Dolphin Cove, Ocho Rios

    Updated August 2019