A member organization founded in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice
of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic.

Latest News

Blog | Tracking Antarctica's Whales
Whale populations are booming in Antarctica, for now. This is the best news ever, and for those of us who make the annual trek to work ‘on the ice', seeing more and more whales each year is heartening, writes Ted Cheeseman, co-founder, and CEO of HappyWhale. Continue reading.

Blog | Antarctica, are you ready for your close-up?
Antarctica poses numerous challenges for the professional and the point-and-click photographer alike; whether it's working within rules set to safeguard the environment, protecting your equipment, changeable weather, and lighting or simply the overwhelming urge to take photos of absolutely everything 900 times for fear you'll miss out. With that in mind, we've asked award-winning photographer and polar photography expert Paul Teolis, for his top tips for capturing those memories on camera...

Save The Date | Polar Field Staff Conference September 22 – 25
IAATO and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) will deliver their third joint Polar Field Staff Conference from September 22 to September 25. The conference gathers guides, expedition leaders and operations managers working for both polar trade associations to support their shared mission of advocating and promoting safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. The three-day event will take place in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA.

More information about the program will be shared with AECO and IAATO members in due course.

The Polar Citizen Science Collective Awarded Grant To Develop Polar Science Mobile App
IAATO is delighted to share the news that The Polar Citizen Science Collective has been awarded a €170,000 grant to develop a citizen science mobile app. Read more...

Blog | Don't Hug the Penguins, and Other Rules in Antarctica...
Going to Antarctica is a privilege, not a right, and thanks to the extraordinarily successful intergovernmental agreement that is the Antarctic Treaty, all human activity there is regulated by strict rules which protect the white desert and its wildlife. Here are a few things to think about before you head to the wildest place on Earth.

Blog | Antarctica Day - Celebrating 59 Years of Global Antarctic Ambassadorship
At a time when, for many, the world seems uncertain; with political, environmental and equality struggles in the headlines, it is perhaps heartening to be able to celebrate a unique global collaboration which is as strong today as it was at its inception almost 60 years ago. Read our latest blog from IAATO Head of Operations, Lisa Kelley.

HappyWhale Joins Forces With IWC-SORP to Create Whale ID How-To Guide
HappyWhale has joined forces with the International Whaling Commission's Southern Ocean Research Partnership (IWC-SORP) to create a how-to guide for photographing identification features for Right, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Blue and Killer whales. Find yours here.

Blog | A Year in The Life of Responsible Tourism
What does a year in the life of responsible tourism look like? We asked our digital media assistant Hayley Court, who joined us a year ago this month, for her reflections on her first 12 months in IAATO. Read her blog here

Blog | Penguins, People & Science – Antarctica Depends on All Three
Penguins my first love. I used to study gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) on a remote Antarctic island to see how their breeding and foraging patterns changed in response to food supply. My work and experiences left me with a lifetime longing to do what I could to protect them. Read our latest blog here - and further reading from our polar partners at UK Antarctic Heritage Trust here

OUT NOW: Version Two of Our ‘One-Stop' App for Antarctic Visitors and Guides
The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has launched version     two of its successful IAATO Polar Guide: Antarctica app, that makes it quick and easy for users on-the-go in the field to access essential information, without the need for a phone signal. Tell me more...

We're Hiring - Extended deadline
We are currently recruiting for a full-time bookkeeper postion in our South Kingstown office in Rhode Island. The successful candidate will work with the executive director and director of governance & administration to set up and oversee the financial record keeping of the association, as well as support the director of governance & administration in ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local legal requirements.

Please click here for the position announcement and employment application.

Blog | Antarctic Visitors - Friends or Foe?

With frequent reports in the news about changing polar environments, IAATO welcomes questions about the possible impact of polar tourism. It's something we think about daily as we continue to work towards our mission of safe, environmentally responsible travel.

Read our latest thoughts in response to a recent enquiry from one of IAATO's Facebook followers. 

 

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IAATO Annual Meeting 2019

Every year, members set aside competitive interests to have open and candid discussions on safety, environmental protection and self-regulation. Decision-making is supported by recommendations developed by IAATO's many dedicated committees and working groups throughout the year. The meetings conclude annually with the voting in of new policies on best practice which support our mission of promoting and advocating safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica are voted in.
 
IAATO's annual meeting 2019 will be held from April 30 – May 3 in Cape Town, South Africa and is open to IAATO members and invited guests.
 

 


Travelling to Antarctica?

Download the free new IAATO app Polar Guide: Antarctica for iOS and Android!

Before you leave home, the company you are travelling with will send you important information about your obligations for visiting Antarctica safely and responsibly. You can also view IAATO's briefing films, with subtitles in several different languages, and our FAQ page. Visiting the white continent is an extraordinary and special experience; we all have a role to play in protecting it for future generations. Have an incredible journey!

 

What Does IAATO Do?

The future protection of Antarctica from the impacts of human activity requires collaboration on a global scale. To promote effective visitor management, IAATO annually shares detailed information on its activities with Antarctic Treaty Parties and works collaboratively with scientific institutions, particularly on long-term environmental monitoring and citizen-science systematic observations. Find out more about our work by reading our fact sheet.