The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has been granted observer status at the thirty-seventh meetings of the Commission and Scientific Committee. IAATO is a membership organization founded in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice of safe, environmentally responsible private-sector Antarctic travel. It now comprises over 100 member companies, representing the vast majority of all private sector tourism to the Antarctic and Southern Ocean. This paper is a brief introduction to the association and its activities including its history, purpose and relevance to the Antarctic Treaty System. An overview of Antarctic tourism trends is also presented.
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