Towards an Antarctic Tourism Policy: a framework for policy analysts.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Few places on Earth have the power to invoke the imaginative potential of the human mind as great as Antarctica. The place draws connotations of heroism, hardship and unique natural beauty, as well as a recent reinvention as a talisman in the Climate Change debate. So it should not come as a surprise that the demand for Antarctic tourism is high and increasing. Tourism in Antarctica provides some unique challenges to policymakers. The policy development process, whether through the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) or through self regulation through the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), is very different to that faced by domestic policy specialists. Yet the potential for negative impacts on the pristine Antarctic environment means that regulation is required to mitigate and minimise harmful effects. This essay sets out the first stage towards a policy analysis of the Antarctic tourism industry, exploring the current state of the industry, potential impacts that the tourism industry may have on the Antarctic environment, along with characteristics of Antarctic tourism that exacerbate the risk of these impacts, and finally a brief look at recent debates within the ATS regarding the future regulation of tourism. These three sections are designed to provide the context that is required for the future development of an Antarctic Tourist policy.