Promotion or protection : the management of tourist visitation to New Zealand's Antarctic and sub-Antarctic territories New Zealand as a case study : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business Studies in Management Systems at Massey University
Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands are among the last regions on earth that are still relatively unspoilt from human activity. At the same time, they are also among the last tourism frontiers in the world. The forms of tourism, trends, impacts and the current management mechanisms are described and assessed. New Zealand is offered as a case-study because it is experiencing increased visitation to its Antarctic and sub-Antarctic territories. As claimant to a section of Antarctica and signatory to the Antarctic Treaty, New Zealand has a vested interest in preserving this unique area. As the operator of Antarctic bases, it is probable that the New Zealand government may be called upon to provide assistance to tourist expeditions in the Antarctic. New Zealand companies are involved in tourist visits to the sub-Antarctic islands. Attention is drawn to areas of concern, and the various policies New Zealand applies to Antarctic and sub-Antarctic ecotourism are analysed. The need for a sustainable tourist management regime is examined, in order to balance the paradox between preservation and visitation. The varying aspects of international and national management regimes to manage Antarctic and sub-Antarctic tourism are discussed. Antarctica is managed by an international system, whereas the sub-Antarctic islands are subject to national legislation. This has implications for tourism management in these regions. It is questioned whether the present tourist regulations are adequate to protect the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic environments from the impacts of tourism. It is suggested that the current mechanisms are not sufficient, and the establishment of an International Convention on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic Tourism is proposed.