Tuesday 19 March 2013

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

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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