The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators is a member trade association that represents Antarctic tour operators and others organizing and conducting travel to Antarctica. It was originally founded in 1991 by seven private tour operators wanting to join together to practice and promote safe and environmentally responsible travel to this remote and delicate region of the world.
Membership today comprises more than 100 respected companies from across the world.
In 2021 IAATO will celebrate its 30th year of advocating and promoting safe and environmentally responsible private sector travel to Antarctica. It operates within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty System, including the Antarctic Treaty and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, along with IMO Conventions and similar international and national laws and agreements.
These are designed to promote travel to the region that is not only safe but also that all of the necessary precautions are taken to minimize impact on the environment and wildlife. This effort is unique, and the challenge to maintain environmentally responsible tourism exists to this extent in no other region of the world.
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