Published on : Friday, May 6, 2016
Tourism growth management is a topic for discussion at International Association of Antarctica Tour Operator’s (IAATO) annual meeting in Newport, which is celebrating 25 years of promoting the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private sector travel to the Antarctic.
Dr. Kim Crosbie, IAATO Executive Director says, “2016 is a special year for IAATO. The last 25 years have shown that with careful management it is possible for visitors to experience Antarctica without having an adverse impact on the environment.
“However, the appetite to visit Antarctica is clearly still strong so IAATO must build on the foundations laid down in the past to meet future challenges and opportunities in order to support the long-term conservation of Antarctica,” he added.
On the first day of its 25th Anniversary Meeting in its home town of Newport, Rhode Island, USA, the IAATO announced its tourism figures for the 2015-2016 Antarctic season which clearly shows that the number of visitors travelling to Antarctica in on the rise.
The total numbers of visitors travelling to Antarctica, with IAATO members, was 38,478, an increase of 4.6% compared to the previous season. Overall, levels of visitation have been increasing steadily since 2011-2012 in line with global trends.