Tuesday, 19 March 2013

As tourism numbers rise in Antartica, conservation alarm bells go off

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Passengers explore by Zodiac along the Antarctica Peninsula  (R Eime)

by Rod McGuirk, Associated Press

Across most of Earth, a tourist attraction that sees 35,000 visitors a year can safely be labeled sleepy. But when it’s Antarctica, every footstep matters.

Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer.

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