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Managing Antarctic tourism


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Tracey, Phillip John 2001 , 'Managing Antarctic tourism', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Antarctic tourism began before the Antarctic Treaty was signed, and is now a substantial
industry exhibiting rapid growth. Concern has been expressed about the effects of tourism
on scientific, environmental and other important Antarctic values. The Protocol on
Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty forms the main mechanism for managing
Antarctic tourism within the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS). This thesis argues that despite
the framework provided by the Protocol, the tourism management system is inadequate, and
that the management systems governing similar forms of tourism in other natural areas
provide a superior model.
The research included a comprehensive analysis of the industry and its development.
Physical, environmental, operational and geographical aspects of Antarctic tourism were
analysed. An examination of site use and the spatial development of tourism shows that
concern about high use levels is justified for a small proportion of sites, and identifies trends
in the geographic spread of tourism activity. The impacts of tourism on Antarctic values
were reviewed, with the main concerns identified as low-risk, high-magnitude impacts, and
cumulative impacts. Social, economic, and industrial aspects of tourism were analysed.
The economic analysis shows the market economic value of the industry to be
approximately fifty five million US dollars for the 1996/97 season. A forecast of the
development of Antarctic tourism predicts continued growth, increasing diversification, and
development of substantial new markets.
The management of Antarctic tourism was examined in detail. The system includes tourism
management within the ATS, measures imposed from outside the ATS, and industry self
regulation. An analysis of the legislative and administrative approaches of different nations
shows that there is considerable variation in the way that tourism management provisions of
the Protocol are interpreted and applied.
Detailed case studies were conducted on the management of tourism at southern oceanic
islands and northern polar locations. The case studies show that cruise tourism is managed
very differently in these areas than in the Antarctic, with management planning regarded as
the most appropriate model for management. Management measures specific to cruise
tourism in high latitude locations were identified.
It is argued that there are significant shortcomings in the tourism management system, based
on analysis of the existing system, the characteristics of the industry and the Antarctic
environment, management planning theory, and the standards set by management of similar
activities in the case study areas.
An alternative model for the management of Antarctic tourism using a management
planning approach is proposed, taking into account the case studies, industry analysis and
forecast, and the structure and implementation of the present system. The thesis argues that
this alternative is suitable for application within the framework of the ATS, and that it
would overcome the shortcomings identified in the existing management system.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Tracey, Phillip John
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