Gateway Antarctica Seminar Series

Staying 5 metres away from penguins: or how tour guides implement polar policy in Antarctica


Gabriela Roldan


University of Canterbury

Time & Place

Thu, 26 Nov 2020 16:00:53 NZDT in ER 263


Until the coronavirus pandemic halted global leisure travel, Antarctic tourism was the fastest growing human activity in Antarctica, with a record high 2019-20 season of 32% increase in visitors. Calls for regulation on tourist numbers and activities have been in the forefront of scholarship for decades. Decisions on the management of Antarctic tourism take place at high-level meetings within the Antarctic Treaty System; yet, this is largely a self-managed industry operating in a fragile and (potentially) dangerous environment. This paper introduces the Antarctic tourism industry and examines the role of the Antarctic tour guide as the front-line actor in interpreting and enforcing the directives before Antarctic visitors, and asks how guides interpret Antarctic governance in the cruise setting. Also, this presentation will address the ongoing research project that is focusing on the impacts of COVID-19 in Antarctic tourism.