Ongoing ‘perception issues’ over its treatment of animals is the reason behind SeaWorld’s declining fortunes, according to park bosses.
SeaWorld Entertainment posted a second-quarter loss this week of $175.9 million – amid falling attendance rates.
Despite the park’s stock plummeting by 28 per cent, CEO Joel Manby says he is somewhat optimistic.
He said: “While we are making progress in key areas of our plan, we are not satisfied with our results for the quarter.
“This quarter provided us with an understanding of what is working and where we need to make adjustments.
“We are increasing our investment in national advertising to generate sufficient awareness of our brand attributes and strong new rides and attractions, developing a new national marketing campaign emphasizing our distinct experiences, and reinvesting in our reputation messaging to target perceptions in key markets, particularly California.”
The park has taken a hit in fortunes since 2013 documentary Blackfish uncovered some of the cruel practices at SeaWorld.
Since the movie’s release, SeaWorld has been phasing out its popular orca ‘shows’ – as well as its orca breeding program.
Earlier this summer, the park was mired in controversy once more, when three month old killer whale Kyara, the last orca to be born in captivity at the park, died of suspected pneumonia.
Manby described this backlash as ‘perception issues’.