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Antarctic tourism

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Introduction

Antarctic tourism, a black and white issue? Antarctic tourism, many have condemned it, accusing it, and the IAATO (The International Association Antarctic Tour Operators) of 'destroying the last great wilderness'. However the IAATO disagrees 'The last great wilderness', as it is called, far from being destroyed, is being saved by the IAATO. We, as an organisation that work within this beautiful area and respect it's uniqueness, are dedicated to appropriate, safe, environmentally sound tourism in Antarctica and one of our objectives is to campaign, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic, rendering this tourism sustainable. Without the IAATO tourists would have been allowed to run rampant on the Antarctic, destroying it and having a very large negative impact on this beautiful landscape. These campaigners wish tourism to be banned completely. However we believe this would be wasting a fantastic adventurous holiday destination and depriving the world of this great untouched land. We also believe that this would lead to tourism happening illegally, as basically no one could enforce the rule, these illegal tourist operators would, not only cause more deaths (through inexperience and not being well-enough equipped) ...read more.

Middle

distance from penguins going back and forth on a well-used trail to the sea, caused the indigenous birds to deviate from their path by 70m, even hours after that person had left. In one example, the human observer over a 10 hour period caused an estimated 11,934 penguins (such as that in Fig.1) to deviate from their path (resulting in an extra 835 kilometres being walked by the birds). So you can see that although no physical damage can be seen, even standing there, seemingly a responsible 20m away from the penguins can have a serious affect on these penguins lives. The fact that most of Antarctica has never been explored by man does not help as the places these tourists go are the most populated with the wildlife, the most scenic places, the places that need be protected the most. The IAATO claim that they genuinely want to help the Antarctic, to 'save it', although if you look at it, why are any tour operators really out there? They are all there only to make money, so why should we put the fait of a whole continent on the shoulders of an organisation that only what to exploit this continent. ...read more.

Conclusion

However given that Antarctica does not actually have any permanent inhabitants and is owned by no one country enforcing this rule will be incredibly difficult. Who would make sure the rules are obeyed, and what motivation would they have to do so? One suggestion could be that the country of the ports these ships set sail from should be responsible for the limitations. However why should the said country limit the amount of ships set sail to Antarctica? They stand to gain from the tourism and there fore have no motive to enforce it. Another option is that the IOOTA should enforce these rules; however, again they only stand to gain for letting themselves send more tourists there than properly agreed. And how could they stop any one company from taking a tour, considering they have no form of enforcement, such as a police, being only an organisation. My suggestion, although costly, may be a solution, let the IAATO take control of the limitations, however have a team of investigators to monthly review the limitations and how well they are working, the team should be comprised of some environmentalists, some representatives from the various companies and various representatives from the countries that own land in the Antarctic, to limit bias. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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