Increasing numbers of tourists are visiting the Antarctic. Totals from the past three seasons (1989-1990, 1990-1991, 1991-1992) were 2581, 4842, and 6495 respectively (Enzenbacher, 1992). Some environmental issues arising from Antarctic tourist activity include: wildlife tolerance, waste disposal, passenger education, tour operator management practices, personnel experience, frequency of visits and ship design. Current guidelines provide a practical approach to tourism, but do not address all issues arising from tourist activity. Antarctic Treaty Parties agreed to examine the question of a comprehensive regulation of tourist activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area and policies are under review. Some issues may prove difficult to resolve. Compliance with existing guidelines is to be encouraged, at least until more is known about the environmental effects of tourism. A management plan for tourism is needed along with more research on how tourism is conducted and the effects visits have on Antarctica's marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Cooperation between Treaty Parties and tour operators is important for the development of appropriate tourism regulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science