The Federation of Tour Operators, whose membership includes TUI Travel plc and Thomas Cook Group plc, has taken steps to discourage the unwarranted capture and trade of marine mammals from the wild to captive animal attractions. This welcomed move by the UK travel industry follows the controversial export of a number of wild-caught bottle-nosed dolphins from the waters of the Solomon Islands to the Palm Atlantis Resort, Dubai, in 2008. Experts from across the world have condemned their capture. The IUCN's Cetacean Specialist Group has since stated that there is a lack of evidence to support the suggestion that the population targeted was not detrimentally affected by the removals.
The Federation of Tour Operators has informed the animal attractions and holiday resorts worldwide that it opposes the collection of whales, dolphins, sea lions, and seals from the wild without appropriate scientific documentation demonstrating that the collection will not compromise the sustainability of the wild population. This change of policy has been welcomed by the Born Free Foundation, which continues to advise the travel industry.