Antarctic tourism

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jun 12, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Today countries involved in the Antarctic Treaty gather in Scotland to discuss preservation of the frozen continent. 30,000 visitors are expected to visit Antarctica this year. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports not everyone’s happy about that.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Countries like Australia worry that too many tourists will damage Antarctica’s pristine environment.

Geologist John Spletstoser is an advisor to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. He says travel companies abide by strict Antarctic Treaty regulations, like keeping a set distance from wildlife. And, he says, it’s in their interests to keep doing so.

JOHN SPLETSTOSER: If things go badly, limits will be set on the size of ships, the number of passenger capacities, the designated places for landings, et cetera et cetera all the way down the line. No commercial operator wants to be shut down.

Especially when they cater to the cream of the tourist crop. Guests on Antarctic cruise ships pay $400-$500 a night.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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