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Published on Sunday, July 29, 2018

Thomas Cook to stop selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

Thomas Cook will stop selling tickets to Seaworld in Florida and Tenerife's Loro Parque from summer 2019.

Announcing the move in his latest blog, chief executive Peter Fankhauser said it wasn't a decision the operator had taken lightly.

"We always said that we would continue to review our policy, conscious that the more we got into this area, the more we would learn, and conscious also of changing customer sentiment," he said.

"We have actively engaged with a range of animal welfare specialists in the last 18 months, and taken account of the scientific evidence they have provided. We have also taken feedback from our customers, more than 90% of whom told us that it was important that their holiday company takes animal welfare seriously. That has led us to the decision we have taken."

Fankhauser said the decision had been taken despite both parks passing a recent audit process and making improvements to the way they treat animals.

"We respect and applaud the work that has been done, and we will work with both over the next 12 months to prepare for our exit. We will also continue to work ourselves to identify more sustainable alternatives," he said.

Animal rights group PETA, which has been putting intense pressure on the travel giant about selling Seaworld tickets, claimed a victory.

"This momentous victory~means that Thomas Cook has now become the world-leading travel provider for animal welfare that it had claimed to be," says PETA director of corporate projects Yvonne Taylor.

"If other travel providers hope to maintain a shred of credibility with animal-loving British holidaymakers, they must follow Thomas Cook's lead and immediately announce that they, too, will end the financial lifeline they are giving these cruel marine parks."

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