The world’s largest travel site recently released the winners in its Travelers’ Choice awards for amusement parks and waterparks, and out of millions of consumer reviews, SeaWorld San Diego was ranked No. 17 in the U.S. in the TripAdvisor rankings. At about the same time as the TripAdvisor awards were published, PETA continued its anti-SeaWorld campaign with a $24,000 poster at Lindbergh Field to be seen by thousands - a 20-foot graphic of a captive orca with a man (supposed to be SeaWorld’s CEO) in his mouth. The display is allegedly aimed at Comic-Con attendees, hoping the ad will convince convention-goers to avoid SeaWorld in protest of marine-mammal confinement.
Blackfish was released last year, SeaWorld has been inundated with backlash, including many protests at each location, another negative Lindbergh ad featuring actress and San Diego native Kathy Najimy telling visitors to avoid the park, an anti-Seaworld video featuring actor Jason Biggs, push for a bill in California to effectually outlaw capturing and confining orcas, and even vandals defacing a sign off of the I-5 to change Sea World Drive to Sea World Sucks.
In response to the most recent PETA poster, SeaWorld said in a statement:
SeaWorld San Diego opened on March 21, 1964, and is currently commemorating its 50th Celebration. SeaWorld is one of the leading tourist attractions in San Diego, with more than 155 million visitors over the last five decades. Despite the Blackfish-spawned protests, SeaWorld is reportedly doing better than ever.
Travelers' Choice awards honor top travel spots worldwide based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Award winners were reportedly determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for amusement parks and waterparks worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period. The complete list can be found at tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Attractions.