The international Association of tour operators of Antarctic has been organized by seven companies initially, but the companies have grown to more than 100 and most of them do not follow the principle of environment preservation during their tours.
To stop the huge flow of tourists visited Antarctica, which has extremely grown up to over 45,000 during last year, USA proposed restriction on number of tourists as well on size of vessels sailing to this continent in danger. Today huge vessels cannot do harm to the Antarctica environment anymore!
The US proposal on obligatory introduction of restrictions for the Antarctic tourism has been accepted by 28 countries. Restrictions should protect a fragile ecosystem of the ice continent. The parties, which have signed the Contract on Antarctic, initiated by Washington 50 years ago, in the course of 11 days have carried on negotiations in Baltimore, Maryland. The tourism restrictions affect the sizes of cruise ships landing to Antarctica, as well the quantity of the passengers.
One more resolution has obligatory rules for the ships sailing to Antarctic, measures for increasing the safety of navigation in this territory within the limits of the International Maritime Organisation, and also a measure for strengthening of the environment preservation for all Antarctic ecosystem.
In spite of the fact that all these measures have been accepted on the basis of a consensus and have not caused any objections, they were a subject of negotiations since after their ratification, they will become legally obligatory. This will happen when all 28 countries ratify the signed Contract on Antarctic.
According to the new rules the vessels, which have on board more than 500 passengers, have no right to land to the Antarctica coast. Simultaneously on the coast can descend no more than 100 tourists. Almost 400 diplomats, experts, scientists and polar explorers from 47 countries of the world have taken part in meeting, on which the ecological and territorial questions concerning Antarctics were solved.