Punta Arenas, Chile, 'Gateway to Antarctica’, will be front and center when IAATO members meet there on April 22-24. The meeting will focus on protecting the Antarctic environment, with opportunities for delegates to learn more about tourism and science in Chilean Antarctica. As a founder member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), and the leading land-based operator, ANI/ALE is delighted to co-host the opening 'Icebreaker' along with the Chilean National Antarctic Institute (INACH). There will also be a special presentation by Chile's Minister of Public Works, about tourism infrastructure developments in Patagonia and excursions showcasing Chile's X11 Region, Magallanes y Antartica Chilena.
IAATO's annual meeting provides an opportunity for Members to review current practices, share knowledge, and develop guidelines for responsible Antarctic tourism. The busy meeting agenda includes reports on both Marine and Land Tourism; a review of new Antarctic Site Guidelines; Climate Change and the role for tourism; proposed IAATO Information Papers for the forthcoming XXXVI Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting; tourism growth management; and much more.
A special Search and Rescue Workshop will be held at this year’s meeting in conjunction with representatives from Chilean and Argentine Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC), US Coast Guard, Antarctic Treaty Parties and National Antarctic Program Managers (COMNAP). The workshop will focus on issues around search and rescue in the Antarctic Treaty area, both at sea and on land, providing for a good exchange of ideas and useful information.
ANI owner, David Rootes (ANI's Environmental Manager), will attend the IAATO meeting. David has been integrally involved in the development of Site Guidelines for Antarctic sites regularly visited by tourists. He prepares our annual environmental documentation and submissions that allow ANI/ALE to operate in Antarctica.
David said, “We are really pleased to be co-hosting the Icebreaker reception with INACH, particularly in this year following the visit of the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera Echenique, to Union Glacier. Punta Arenas has always been a very welcoming city with links to the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration that continue to this day. I believe we will have a very constructive meeting of the Association.”
IAATO is a member organization founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic.