25 Moments that Mattered in 2015: To make our selection of 25 moments, we thought back to the stories that drove reader engagement and sparked discussion among both travel experts and the general public. Some stories were quick blips that represented bigger things while others were narratives that built slowly through out the year. Each one, though, spoke to where we are right now when it comes to the big business of global travel.
As it turns out, imprisoning orca whales in tiny pools and forcing them to dance for tourists is becoming less appealing to the American public or international vacationers.
A combination of atrocious publicity from the 2013 documentary film “Blackfish” and stern competition from rival theme parks has left Seaworld, and its 11 theme parks across North America, floundering.
Seaworld CEO Joel Manby said the company isn’t going to invest even more in marketing to reform its tarnished image. He also told investors that international visitors are now more likely to visit competing parks in Orlando featuring Harry Potter or Mickey Mouse than Seaworld.
As the world becomes more sensitive to the impact of tourism on nature and the environment, Seaworld’s global appeal could diminish even more than it already has, and it’s a signal to attractions around the world that the old ways won’t work for a new generation.
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Photo credit: SeaWorld tried an ad campaign that focused on the health of its sea life. SeaWorld