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Ecotourism in Antarctica

Updated April 17, 2017

Discovering Antarctica, a website that discusses travel to the continent, notes that eco-tourism trips to Antarctica are geared towards conserving the continent's natural environment while exposing visitors to local cultures and ecosystems.

Significance

Responsible tourism guidelines have been established for Antarctic travel in the form of the Environmental Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty. The protocol is designed to ensure that tourism and other human activities do not have negative impacts on the Antarctic environment. Eco-tourism to Antarctica supports local conservation effort and benefits both travellers and local communities.

Features

Environmentally responsible tours to Antarctica should adhere to specific rules in accordance with the Antarctic treaty. These rules include respecting restricted areas, preventing disposal of prohibited waste and ensuring that tourists are supervised by guides for the duration of their visit to Antarctica.

Warning

When planning an ecotour to Antarctica, travellers should seek out tour companies that are members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, or IAATO. In addition, travellers should be aware of the global impacts of travelling thousands of miles to visit Antarctica in the form of carbon emissions, according to Discovering Antarctica.

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About the Author

A.K. Jayne has written and edited print and online content since 2006. In addition, she has legal assistant/paralegal experience in areas including wills and trusts and family law. Her articles have appeared in the "Philadelphia Inquirer," "New Jersey Record" and "Burlington County Times." Jayne completed an Associated Press internship and is an alumna of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.