Today we share the latest on the Virgin Pledge, our commitment to end the wild capture of whales and dolphins for tourism. 

Over the last year, Virgin Unite and Virgin Holidays have worked together on a stakeholder engagement process focused on the issue of cetaceans in tourism. We pursued three complementary goals:

  • to better understand this complex issue;
  • to secure a pledge from the companies with which Virgin works to no longer take whales and dolphins from the ocean; and
  • to explore a long-term vision for captive cetaceans in tourism. 

In many conversations with scientists, activists and marine park operators, we learned a great deal about the current state of the debate. We understand that effective protection and conservation of the oceans and its magnificent animals is an enormous task that will require collective action at all levels. We feel that the Virgin Pledge can be a force for good and have positive impact on current practices, especially if others in the industry join and support this effort.

Our core objective was to eliminate demand for whales and dolphins from the wild. It is an important first step in our effort to chart a course for the future of cetaceans in tourism, and we will continue to engage with all parties across the spectrum of opinion.

With the signing of the Virgin Pledge, Virgin Holidays will now start working with partners and other interested parties to create enriching and enjoyable experiences that transform the way its customers engage with and learn about the oceans and marine life. We are excited about the possibilities this will offer. 

At this juncture, both Virgin Unite and Virgin Holidays wish to thank everyone involved in our stakeholder engagement for their time and expertise during this period, and for their shared passion for the world’s ocean. We look forward to the next steps on this exciting journey.