The average total number of visitors to Antarctica was more than 30,000 in 2007 as compared to less than 7,000 in the year 1997. The rising trend in visitors to the Antarctic region suggests that more and more people around the world are being attracted towards magical phenomenon of nature and appreciate the wildlife in Antarctica (Walsh, 2003). The most popular and common mode of transport and way of reaching Antarctica are ships. Albeit this mode of transport is quite dangerous as ships have a great risk of colliding with icebergs and sinking, adventure driven people still visit Antarctica in good weather conditions and high season.
The future of tourism in Antarctica has high potential but the Antarctic Treaty Organisation has requested cruise line operators to lower the number of cruises to the region and recommends that visitors should come to the region in small expedition ships which are less vulnerable to glaciers. The oil spill some years ago and mishap of the Nordkapp – a passenger ship with a capacity of 280 passengers motivated the treaty organisation to contact the United Nations to stop cruises to the Antarctic region. If the cruise line and tour operators want to sustain tourism in the region hey need to adapt voluntary safety regulations and bring visitors to the region in smaller and ice safe ships and boats following the instructions of appropriate regulatory bodies (Bastmeijer, 2003).
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