Swimming with captive dolphins: current debates and post-experience dissonance
This source preferred by Susanna Curtin
Authors: Curtin, S.C. and Wilkes, K.
Journal: International Journal of Tourism Research
Dolphins have widespread contemporary appeal and anthropomorphic social representations of dolphins have fuelled a growing desire in tourist populations to seek interaction with them. This paper is concerned with the staged performance of swim-with-dolphin interaction programmes in aquaria. Qualitative interviews with tourists who have swum with captive dolphins identified their immediate recollections and stressed the grace, size and power of dolphins, but also a belief that the experience was too staged, too short and too expensive. Post-purchase dissonance focused on concerns with the size of enclosures and about captivity, too many tricks, limited interpretation and unfulfilled expectations of a quality interaction.