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New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

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Toronto, Canada
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555 posts
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New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

We will post a full review of the hotel within the next few days. However, we wanted to make this information public as soon as possible (have not seen any mention of this development in any other posts).

We have just returned from two weeks at GBP Tulum section and were surprised by the significant construction project underway beside La Gran Tortuga. Since we stayed in building 22, which is directly beside La Gran Tortuga, we were curious about the construction. We asked a total of 7 staff members to ensure we received a consistent and accurate response - aquatics staff (2), front desk / reception staff (2), customer service staff (3) - all reported the same information: GBP is building a dolphinarium which will open some time next year (final date not confirmed).

We have pictures which show grading equipment and a large boring machine. Activity was fairly constant each day and one aquatics staff member reported they are working hard to finish it. His comment about the hotel having concerns about reaction from the public and groups such as Green Peace seemed to ring true - security guards are posted at the construction site 24 hours a day.

Rooms blocks 23, 24, 25 and 30, 31 and 32 were unoccupied and some seemed to be undergoing renovation (i.e., painting).

The decision to install a dolphinarium - keeping dolphins in captivity for purposes of entertainment - seems to be contrary to the image GBP tries to convey related to eco-tourism ("eco-Bahia") and wildlife preservation practices, particularly related to turtles. It's a deal-breaker for us - we can't support any company that would make this kind of decision and we won't be returning.

Homewood, Illinois
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1. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

I am very sorry to hear this. The Barcelo was supposed to do this a couple years ago but I think it fell through.

Winnipeg
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2. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

Just out of curiousity, how would a Dolphinarium differ from that what you could find at Xcaret or Sea World?

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

Fabulous question. To me, it all comes down to the value we, as humans, place on the quality of life enjoyed by other mammals (or any animal, for that matter). I don't support either venue - to the extent possible, I prefer to learn about animals from direct interactions in their natural environments. A barking seal that balances a ball on its noise and is rewarded with food is not my idea of a respectful interaction.

Research indicates that few dolphins are born in captivity - most must be captured in the wild and held in concrete tanks or small enclosed spaces. They are trained to endure loud music and noise from crowds - and rewarded for doing tricks. Dolphins are highly intelligent and social - they need interaction with other dolphins. No wonder their life span is shortened.

I've noted a number of responses on this site from individuals who are concerned about the harm sunscreen can do to a reef. Keeping dolphins in captivity also damages the marine environment but furthermore, tortures a very intelligent animal.

Whatever are we teaching our kids?

Augusta
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4. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

wspa-usa.org/pages/272_what_s_wrong_with_swi…

Owen Sound, Ontario
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5. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

What do you expect from a resort that charges 15 US dollars to snorkel in a "preserve" area. Its all about the money. We also will not be returning to the Bahia.

Richmond, BC
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6. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

What an ugly idea - do they really think that keeping dolphins in captivity for purposes of entertainment is going to increase the popularity of the resort? How about just improving the food and the beach and re-painting the rooms.

I know about this idea being entertained at Barcelo at some point and was happy to hear that it was put on hold indefinitely. What type of the dolphinarium can be really build at the resort, it would be quite small in any event and it will just add to suffering of the dolphins.

We were in Nuevo Vallarta 3 years ago and witnessed big dolphins family coming along the beach, playing and jumping, it was an amazing sight, hard to forget. They are very intelligent creatures and deserve to get an appropriate attitude. I am sure it will be a deal breaker for many people me incl.

Wembley, United...
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7. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

I will be very disapointed if this is true, I love the bahia, but think this will definately be a wrong move on their part-I cant see how they can possibly build an area anywhere near big enough to keep dolphins in any kind of comfort, looks like this may be my last trip to the bahia : (

Leicestershire
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312 posts
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8. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

I appreciate what you are all saying on here but to be fair it is not just this resort....I have seen it allover the world. Look at Orlando for example seaworl? Cuba is prolific for stuff like this.

I suppose its vote with your feet - when it opens don't go! I must admit I won't be when I go!

I was thinking of requesting Tulum section but now if there is contruction I think I may not bother?!!!

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

Hi Kir321,

To ensure we received accurate information, we asked a number of staff from different areas (reception, aquatics, customer service). Their responses were identical - there was no "if, and or maybe" - the decision has been made and construction is underway. I won't financially contribute to the notion or actual captivity of dolphins, regardless whether the area is under construction or fully operational. Had we known about Bahia's plans in advance of our visit, we would not have selected this resort.

The construction itself began about 8 am and went until 5 or 6, Monday through Saturday. At times, the boring / pounding was loud and could be heard from the front lobby of Tulum. Other times, there was no noise. The construction site itself is surrounded by a high fence with screening. During the first week, the bottom of the fence was not screened in (allowing curious-eyes to view); during our second week, a green mesh screen was installed.

Leicestershire
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10. Re: New Dolphinarium coming soon to Gran Bahia Principe - Tulum

Thanks for the info:

firstly because these water world parks are rubbish for the poor animlas involved

Secondly who in their right mind wants to pay thousands of pounds and travel all the way to a construction site?!

Personally I don't want to experience any banging or yucky looking sites...

So I won't be requesting Tulum!!!