The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators: 28 Years and Counting


This article gives an overview of the history of Antarctic tourism and how the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) was formed in 1991 with a mission to advocate and promote the practice of safe, environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. It describes how IAATO has developed over the years to contribute to the responsible management of human activity in Antarctica including how it operates within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty System, particularly the Environmental Protocol. In the context of managing for recent and projected tourism growth, the article shares IAATO’s achievements, challenges and objectives to further its mission while planning its activities to have no more than a minor or transitory impact on the environment and create a corps of ambassadors for Antarctica’s continued protection.

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