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HomeAdventureHow can a accountable tour operator nonetheless run journeys to Antarctica?

How can a accountable tour operator nonetheless run journeys to Antarctica?

It’s the world’s final nice wilderness – so why are we nonetheless taking travellers to Antarctica? Intrepid co-founder Darrell Wade shares his ideas.

With no full-time residents, governments, vehicles or navy, Antarctica is one the final locations on earth that exists in the best way nature supposed. So in a spot the place nature really reigns supreme, it’s essential to contemplate your impression on such a fragile ecosystem.

Whereas journey to Antarctica is on no account good, we’d not have determined to function there if we felt it was negligent to take action. In truth, the extra we realized about how Antarctica approaches tourism, the extra we felt it was essential to be a part of sustaining its future. The area’s governance, give attention to worth over quantity and dedication to utilizing tourism within the pursuit of peace and science are in contrast to something we’ve seen in another ‘cruise’ locations around the globe. 

Intrepid Journey’s co-founder, Darrell Wade, was not too long ago requested to share his ideas on tourism in Antarctica for the Excessive Stage Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economic system, an essay that was offered on the United Nations final month. This piece provides travellers an incredible perception into how, as a accountable tour operator, Intrepid is approaching journey in Antarctica.

A headshot of a smiling man wearing glasses and a maroon-coloured shirt.
Intrepid Journey’s co-founder Darrell Wade.

“For Intrepid, establishing operations in Antarctica was a thought of alternative. However that didn’t make it a simple determination,” he writes. “Intrepid made the choice to function in Antarctica as we believed it will supply an unimaginable expertise and create worth for our prospects… We additionally knew that working our personal product would supply us with better management of all facets, together with environmental issues.”

All Intrepid journeys, each in Antarctica and throughout the globe, are 100% carbon impartial, however this wasn’t sufficient for us to satisfy our environmental and social tasks. As a part of our seven-point local weather motion plan, we’re additionally dedicated to science-based decarbonisation targets which embrace double offsets on our Polar Expeditions.

“Offsets usually are not sufficient to handle the local weather disaster, which is why we’ve dedicated to science-based targets to decarbonise our enterprise on the tempo and scale that science tells us is important to restrict international warming to 1.5C,” Darrell says. And he’s hopeful that Intrepid’s stance on local weather motion will encourage different operators within the area to do the identical.  

“Intrepid is a comparatively new participant in Antarctica, however the continent has lengthy been supported by robust governance – in contrast to most of the different locations by which we function,” he says. “A lot of the strategy to tourism in Antarctica can present a baseline for a extra accountable cruise trade worldwide. As a part of a accountable future for Antarctica tourism, we are able to draw on classes that assist inform the whole cruise trade.”

This entails plans to put money into a brand new energy-efficient ship to assist us attain our net-zero emissions objectives by 2035. It additionally means working extra carefully with citizen scientists, which we goal to include into all of our polar voyages by way of partnerships with organisations just like the WWF.

“A lot of worldwide ocean tourism is extractive within the sense it does little to mitigate travellers’ impression, not to mention perceive it. However the concept that tourism can assist science and analysis is a shared-value mannequin price exploring,” Darrell says. “Citizen science additionally deepens a traveller’s sense of goal in a vacation spot – it goes past the concept that merely visiting Antarctica will make a traveller a steward of the vacation spot. It really brings collectively leisure and science, folks and planet and has thrilling potential for tourism extra broadly, on each water and land.”

Journey, usually, is a privilege, and it’s a lucky handful that get the chance to expertise a vacation spot like Antarctica. We nonetheless have work to do to make our expeditions to the area as accountable as we are able to, whereas persevering with to coach and encourage our travellers to look after and defend our pure world. 

“The world’s final nice wilderness will at all times draw guests,” Darrell concludes, “and we should execute our ethical, environmental, social and financial obligation to create a negligible impression and non-extractive existence in Antarctica to maintain this vacation spot for future generations.”

Learn Darrell’s full essay for the UN Ocean Panel, and study extra about our dedication to accountable journey and lowering our impression in Antarctica right here



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