Regulation of the Antarctic tourism industry
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Introduction Antarctica presents some of the World's most inhospitable, dangerous and challenging environments, yet each year tens of thousands of people travel long distances to get a glimpse of this stunning land. The effect of the scenery, wildlife, isolation and wilderness can change people's lives. The first people to visit the Antarctic were explorers enticed by the notion of discovering and exploring new land. Hot on their trails were commercial fisheries, following the reports of rich marine life in the Antarctic waters. The quest for knowledge and science brought the next wave of visitors to the Antarctic in the 1950's, and now with easier access to the continent we are seeing increasingly larger number of tourists. Antarctic tourism started in the late 1950's when 500 fare-paying passengers went to the South Shetland Islands aboard a naval transportationship (IAATO 1). From the 1960's the number of tourists to the Antarctic has been increasing each year, reaching 1500 in the 1980's. The numbers of tourists has continued to increase to just under 23,000 for the 2004-2005 season (Landau, 2001; IAATO web site 2). As the number of tourists to the Antarctic has increased so too have concerns over the impact they may be causing to the fragile Antarctic environment. This concern escalated when tourism began to diversify from the traditional cruise only trips to include more land based activities and independent adventure tourism. The risks associated with tourism, in particular adventure or independent tourism, are significant. These expeditions are often dangerous and have the potential to disrupt the national science programs and commercial tour operations (XXVII ATCM/WP 02). As the risks posed by tourism have become more apparent, the Antarctic community has been seeking effective ways to regulate the tourism industry. This has proved to be difficult given the unique treaty that governs the Antarctic.
- Literature Reviews