Economic downturn puts freeze on Antarctic tourism

The economic downturn has frozen tourists' enthusiasm to travel to one of Australia's most remote.

Economic downturn puts freeze on Antarctic tourism

The economic downturn has frozen tourists' enthusiasm to travel to one of Australia's most remote and inhospitable Antarctic outposts with tourism operators reporting a sharp downturn in bookings.

In January 2009 the Australian Antarctic Division reported a record five cruise ships carrying over 400 visitors visited the site of the Mawson's Huts in Cape Denison, base of one of the most significant expeditions in Antarctic history.

However, only one cruise company, Australia-based Orion Expedition Cruises, was expected to visit the remote outpost in January this year, carrying about 96 visitors.

"We've had a slower year based on the recession. That means Antarctica hasn't been in the front of people's minds," Chris Perkins, sales and marketing manager for Orion Expedition Cruises, told Reuters on board the polar cruiser The Orion.

Commercial Antarctic tourism dates back to the late 1960s but interest surged in the late 1980s, leading to a wide range of tourist and adventure activities -- and prompting a list of regulations to protect the pristine Antarctic environment.



Reuters


Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2010, 12:27
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