The IAATO website serves a vital function to diverse audiences, and is much more than an informational or public relations outlet for those interested in Antarctic tourism. Here are just a few of the important roles it plays:
- It provides a comprehensive listing of all IAATO members by type – Operator, Provisional Operator and Associate – and is the only source of such a complete list of tour operators and specialized retailers involved in Antarctic tourism for travel agents, the general public and others.
- The Members Only area is a proprietary and password-protected repository of important information not intended for those outside of IAATO membership. Examples include the Field Operations Manual (FOM), documents from the Annual Meetings (e.g., papers and proposals, financial reports, committee reports, observer reports, etc.), Standard Operating Procedures, Guidelines, etc.
- The Field Operations area – as part of the larger Members Only area – is also proprietary and password-protected. However, it is accessible to approved expedition staff, enabling them to access the FOM and portals to the Field Staff Online Assessments, but not to the other pages of the Members Only area. This area is also accessible to Treaty Party representatives on an invitation basis.
- The website serves as a portal for members to update their company and vessel information in the IAATO database, and to access the Ship Scheduler.
- The general public and IAATO members can easily find the IAATO Bylaws and Objectives, as well as Visitor Guidelines, and posters and pamphlets.
- It provides current and historic tourism statistics and updated press releases in the Newsroom when incidents occur.
While the Secretariat is always ready to help its members with a question or email a requested document, a good familiarity with the IAATO website can save you a lot of time, since answers to many of your questions are already at your fingertips. Updates occur frequently so it is recommended that you visit from time to time to see what has been posted since you last logged on.
Two new tools on the website will help you find things quickly, and both are found on the Home Page:
- A Search function (on the right side of the main navigation bar, or at the bottom of the page), and
- A Site Map (at the bottom of the page).
Members Only & Field Operations Areas
The Members Only area is perhaps the most useful section of the website for members, particularly vessel and land tourism operators. As the title suggests, it is a proprietary area, password-protected for IAATO member use only.
We ask that the individual usernames and passwords for this area not be used by any other individual, and not given to outsiders for any reason. New members will be provided with the log-on details by the Secretariat upon joining the Association.
Some member companies might not wish to provide access to the Members Only area to contracted field staff personnel. For this reason, a separate password protected section of the Members Only area has been created specifically for this group: Field Operations.
The Field Operations area contains the entire Field Operations Manual (FOM) and all seasonal updates, which are kept current throughout the season. This area also contains access to the Field Staff Online Assessments and information about expedition staff logbooks.
Operators wishing to provide access for their field staff to the Field Operations area of the website should forward the name and email address to the IAATO Office Manager in order to set up the field staffer with a unique identifying password.
Individual usernames and passwords for the Members Only area are only provided to members in good standing whose accounts are current. If you have difficulty logging into the IAATO website, please contact the IAATO Office Manager.
The Members Only area has recently undergone major modification to make it much easier for members to find what they are looking for. The primary sub-sections include:
- Latest Postings. This area near the top of the page includes just-produced meeting reports and other topical items and news. These postings are eventually moved into other appropriate areas of the Members Only page, where they serve as historic records.
- Member Resources. This section includes:
- IAATO Admin
- Current rosters of committees and working groups
- Current IAATO organizational chart
- Current Terms of Reference (TORs) for committees
- The current version of the IAATO Strategic Plan
- Logos for use in marketing materials, websites, etc.
- Annual Meeting information on the most recent and upcoming meetings.
- Library. This is the repository of many archival documents such as previous Annual Meetings, as well as member newsletters, ATCM/CEP reports, and information on South Georgia and the UKAHT.
- IAATO Admin
- Committee & Working Group Areas. Here you be able to access community areas set aside for the various IAATO committees and working groups. Once you are in one of these community areas, you will see here a navigation bar – with the light-blue background – above that can take you elsewhere quickly. Each community has two areas:
- External: This area is visible to all IAATO members but, as with the whole Members Only section, is not visible to the general public. This page is for posting documents or other relevant information about that particular committee’s work that is for all IAATO members to view. In addition, this is the place where older committee documents will be archived in the Archive folder. Currently, these archival areas are mostly empty, but will be populated going forward, typically by the IAATO Secretariat.
- Internal: This area is only visible to the members of that particular committee or working group and IAATO Secretariat. The features in this area include:
- Members: This is a roster of members of that particular committee or working group.
- Announcements: The IAATO Secretariat or chair of the committee or working group would typically use this area to post announcements privately intended for members of that committee or working group.
- Activities: This provides a log for any activity that takes place on the internal pages of a particular committee or working group.
- Document Library (Documents). There are two areas here, Folders and Documents. This is a private working area exclusively for the committee or working group. Documents can be posted, edited and reposted, etc. with versions and comments posted automatically. Remember that these are only visible to members of the committee or working group or Secretariat. Members of the committee or working group will be able to upload documents to this document library. Note to committee and working group members: no need to worry about using the documents function right away. This function is still being developed and will be introduced gradually by the Secretariat.
- Forum. This is the discussion forum exclusively for each committee or working group. Comments will not be seen by anyone else. There are separate categories, and separate threads of conversation within the categories. Again, we will begin to use the discussion forum gradually, so please wait for further instructions from the Secretariat before using the discussion forum. Each member of the committee or working group is identified when they post a comment to the discussion forum, along with time and date.
- Voting Operator Community: In the list of Committees and Working Groups in the Members Only section, you may notice a link for Voting Operators. This is an area exclusively for (full) Operators, and is not accessible by Associates, or the general public. Depending on the Member company/organization you belong to, you will have permission to access this area for announcements. Eventually, a discussion forum will be activated that can be used for online discussions regarding new member applications and other issues to be voted on by (full) Operators.
- Field Operations Area is accessible by all Operators and Associates. It is also accessible to field staff that are recommended by a Operator or Provisional Operator member. This area includes:
- The current edition of the IAATO Field Operations Manual (FOM). Once hard copies and/or CDs are distributed to members at the beginning of the season, the website edition is the only edition that is updated throughout the season. See additional information on the FOM here.
- Access to the Field Staff Online Assessments. See additional information here.
- Quick link to Membership and Vessel databases, and also to the Ship Scheduler.
- Expedition Staff Logbooks – information on where the logbooks can be purchased.
Functional & Interactive Areas
The IAATO website provides members with many features.
Your Individual User Page
- After logging in, you will see a toolbar or “dockbar” at the top of the web page that allows you to manage certain functions.
- The little “pin” in upper left corner allows you to pin the dock in position, even if you scroll down the page.
- The Manage drop-down menu provides access to your individual user page: My Account. You can optionally fill out additional information about yourself, and there are some additional functions at the right-hand menu bar. You can:
- Add a picture of yourself
- Change your password
- See what Organization you belong to (this would be your member-company or organization or, in the case of field staff, the “Field Staff Organization”)
- See what Communities you belong to. In the case of IAATO, communities is the equivalent of committees, working groups and other special groups (such as the ATCM delegate group). There is also a community for Voting (full) Operators. More about the communities below.
- Information under Roles indicates your level of permission for certain areas of the new website.
- Under identification, you can optionally put in some additional information about yourself.
- Under Miscellaneous, the Announcements function allows you to receive an email when announcements are made. For example, you could opt to receive an email message when an announcement is created for a committee or working group of which you are a member.
Who is IAATO / What is IAATO
While these pages are generally geared for those outside the IAATO family, it also provides handy access for members to the frequently used pages.
The Membership Directory is a comprehensive listing of all IAATO members by type, with (full) Operators as the default search that appears when you log onto this page. What this means is that if you are an Associate member, you will not automatically see your listing upon opening the page.
To see the listing for members other than (full) Operator, it is necessary to search the database using the menu just below the introductory “Search for Operators” paragraph. Select the type of member you are looking for and hit the “submit” button. The Membership Directory will reset and show the membership list that has been selected, e.g., Provisional Operators or Associate members.
Keeping your listings current
It is recommended that all members review the company and vessel information regularly – several times a year – and update it as frequently as necessary. When prospective Antarctic travelers and travel agents look for contact information on Antarctic tour operators, you want to be sure that your description, phone numbers and website address are current. Keeping it current is easy:
- Click on the little “Login” icon in the upper right-hand corner of the page. If you have forgotten your user name and password (this is the same for accessing the Ship Scheduler), contact the IAATO Office Manager. She will forward this information to you by email and provide a new login. Once you receive the user name and temporary password, it is recommended that you change the password. Keep these handy for future use.
- Once you are logged in, search and/or scroll down to your member listing. Click on the little “pencil” icon just to the left of the member name.
- This accesses the database, and reveals the details – which can be edited by you – that will appear on the membership directory page. Make sure that your organization’s address, phone numbers, contact person and description are all current and up-to-date.
- Hit the “submit” button, and the changes will be made immediately, returning you to the directory.
- Log out, using the same small icon in the upper right-hand corner.
Member Vessel Directory
The IAATO Vessel Directory lists IAATO ships currently operating in Antarctica, along with capacity and IAATO category.
Guidelines and Resources
The Visiting Antarctica section is informative to anyone interested in Antarctic tourism and to IAATO’s efforts to effectively manage tourism activities. It is also a great resource for members, offering downloadable pamphlets that are used in pre-departure packets, posters and other useful guidelines for Antarctic travellers.
- Preparing For Your Expedition offers a wealth of downloadable documents, including general guidelines for visitors to the Antarctic (Resolution 3) adopted at ATCM XXXIV, and guidelines for responsible wildlife watching.
- During Your Visit offers information based on the text of Recommendation XVIII-1, which was adopted at the 1994 ATCM.
- The text of Recommendation XVIII-1 has been translated into a number of other languages, all downloadable for use aboard ship, in pre-departure packets, etc. It can be found in the Visitor Guidelines Library.
- The Recommendation XVIII-1 text is also reproduced in poster size, which can be downloaded from this page.
- IAATO Members have agreed to the following requirements of experience for Field Staff; 80% relevant experience and 50% Antarctic experience and successful completion of the relevant IAATO Field Staff Assessment annually. The document IAATO Field Staff Experience further defines and provides clarity of expedition staffing requirements.
- Don’t Pack a Pest outlines procedures for Antarctic travellers to avoid the potential introduction of non-native species. The text is available in pamphlet form, and can be downloaded in English, French, German and Spanish.
- The Visitors’ Guidelines PowerPoint presentation or slide show can also be viewed on this page. Note: for a downloadable version of this presentation, go to the Section 5c of the Field Operations Manual (FOM) on the Members Only page.
- Decontamination Guidelines provide more extensive procedures, in a downloadable poster format.
- The Wildlife Watching Guidelines page allows viewers to download two posters and/or a brochure that outlines guidance to vessel operators while viewing whales, dolphins, seals and birds in their marine environment.
- Info for Japanese Nationals. All IAATO members should be aware of the requirements for Japanese Nationals who intend to travel to Antarctica. These are described in detail on this page, and in the pamphlet that can be downloaded in either English or Japanese. Members should forward this information to all Japanese Nationals who have reserved space aboard one of their Antarctic programs as Japanese Nationals are required to notify the Japanese Ministry of the Environment of their plans.
- Supporting Science. This page provides further information on some of the work that IAATO and its members are doing to support scientific research efforts in the Antarctic.
- Data & Statistics – In addition to a general overview of Antarctic tourism – generally written with outsiders in mind, Visitor Statistics provides access to a huge reservoir of statistical data on tourism since the 2000-01 season. This information is garnered from the Post-Visit Site Reports (PVRs). Members should feel free to refer journalists or general inquiries about Antarctic tourism to this page.
- Post-Visit Site Report Forms (PVRs) for the current season can be downloaded (either PC or Mac versions) here. It is vitally important the current season forms be used, and not previous season forms.
IAATO and The Antarctic Treaty
IAATO & The Antarctic Treaty, in the main section of the website underneath ‘About IAATO’, is another useful reference area for both IAATO members and those interested in Antarctic tourism-related issues. In general, this section contains links to publicly available documents produced by IAATO and espousing IAATO’s views and position on a variety of tourism-related issues.
Current and Past IAATO Information Papers: These pages serves as a repository and archive of IAATO-produced Information Papers (IPs) submitted to annual Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCMs) as far back as 1992. In addition to IPs on various tourism-related topics that are relevant to that year’s ATCM, IAATO is always responsible for publishing an Annual Report of IAATO Tourism Activities, as well as an Overview of Antarctic Tourism. The latter paper provides a snapshot on IAATO tourism statistics for the previous, current and following years along with any known information on non-IAATO-related tourism activities.
Information for Yachts
The Yachts section of the IAATO website ( underneath ‘Visiting Antarctica’) was added in mid-2010, following discussions at ATCM XXXIII (2010) and the 21st IAATO Annual Meeting (Torino, 2010) about the challenges posed to Antarctic tourism by non-IAATO private and/or commercially-operated yachts.
In recent years, IAATO members witnessed an increasing number of non-IAATO yachts visiting Antarctica, with the owners and/or operators of many of these vessels unaware of the legal requirement of their vessel flag state or the operator’s and/or captain’s home country that they be properly authorized. In addition, there have been isolated incidents where non-IAATO yachts have gotten into difficulties (including loss of life and vessel) as they were not sufficiently prepared, caused damage to the natural environment and important historic sites, or ventured into designated specially protected areas that are off-limits to visitors.
The Yacht pages, along with a multi-language pamphlet and poster, were developed by IAATO as an educational outreach effort, to provide information to non-IAATO operators intending to travel to Antarctica.
The pages also include a number of steps and links to assist non-IAATO yacht operators – both charter and private – in making sure that they, and their vessels, are ready for extreme weather and sea conditions, have secured the necessary environmental authorization, and submit appropriate application documents to obtain authorization/permission from their respective National Authority before venturing south.
The Yacht pages also provide links to a new checklist, guidelines and emergency contact information that were adopted by the Antarctic Treaty Parties as part of Resolution 10 at ATCM XXXV (Hobart, 2012).
Private yacht owners/operators visiting the site can also refer to the Member directory to find IAATO Member service providers and operators who can assist them with their voyage planning and authorization/permission.