Tourists line up on the ice to walk up the gangplank of a huge cruise ship.
Tourist vessel
There is a great deal of interest and potential for growth around tourism in Antarctica. However, consideration needs to be given to which parts of Antarctica should tourists have access to and how can tourists be educated to have minimal impact.
  • Have students draw up an itinerary for a four-week tourist voyage to Antarctica, and to one or more sub-Antarctic islands. Students will need to work out the distances between stations and other attractions: see the A3 map of Antarctica [PDF] and distance matrix [PDF]. They can draw up a list of items for tourists to bring on their trip and calculate the cost of the holiday. They could also design a magazine advertisement for this trip. Many examples of real itineraries can be accessed by exploring Antarctic tourism organisation sites.
  • Students could design a poster or a booklet to educate tourists and tour operators about minimising their impact in Antarctica. Draw up a list of guidelines about what tourists can do and where they can go, e.g. distances from wildlife. Consider whether numbers should be limited in any one party, what kind of person should be in charge, what mode of transport and accommodation would be best. Students could use computer design layout and graphics software such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator or Microsoft Publisher. See the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators' guidance for visitors to the Antarctic and the Australian Antarctic Division's Antarctic tourism pages.
  • Alternatively, ask students to write and illustrate a tourist brochure for Antarctica, outlining why it is special, what a visitor can expect and what they should know before arriving on the continent. All the information you should need is on the Australian Antarctic Division's website. See also Rubin, J. Antarctica, A Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit, Melbourne, Lonely Planet Publications, 1996

Issue - Tourism

Antarctica is huge and relatively few people go there. More tourists go to Antarctica than scientists and their support staff. Should anything be done to limit the number of people who go there? Should tourists be allowed to go wherever they like? Scientists have permanent stations in Antarctica. Is it OK for there to be tourist hotels? If so, where should they be built?

This page was last modified on July 2, 2014.