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TTC Special: A frozen adventure

TTC Special: A frozen adventure

Chinese government established the new list of rules for people visiting Antarctica that offers an adventure to tourists like any other. Photo: nsh87/123rf

By F. Martin

TTC Service.- Chinese government established a new list of rules for people visiting Antarctica.
The regulations announced in the South China Morning Post newspaper at the beginning of the year prohibit hunting, leave solid waste in the place or touch or feed the penguins.

The publication explained that last summer a giant iceberg separated from one of the largest floating ice shelves in Antarctica caused a sense of urgency regarding the damage to nature that the continent is suffering.

Because of that the Chinese government established the new list of rules for people visiting Antarctica that offers an adventure to tourists like any other.

Chinese people on vacation who, by the way, gradually flood the world because they are so numerous, can camping on glaciers, seeing king penguins up close, kayaking around icebergs and attending world-class scientific lectures when they visits the pole.

For an adventure of such magnitude they pay around the equivalent of 5,000 dollars each to visit the world’s only continent without cities or time zones.

And such a frozen adventure is becoming more frequent for many people in the world. According to data kept by the Rhode-Island based International Association of Antarctic, tour operators tourism in the south pole has risen from fewer than 2,000 visitors in the 1980s to more than 45,000 visitors from around the world in 2017.

Scientists from China and other countries however believe that no matter how extraordinary a trip to the frozen continent may be, there are justified environmental dangers due to tourism.

Antarctica, they think and is true, is a remote and increasingly vulnerable continent whose primary residents are researchers and tourism comes at an environmental cost.

The cruise ships bringing travelers, for example, carry air pollutants that can further devastate the region.

Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration officials first announced the new set of rules for behaviour in Antarctica in September, after realizing it was one of four countries that had signed the Antarctic Treaty but had not established regulations for its citizens, the South China Morning Post reported. The other countries are India, Poland and Ecuador, according to the Post.

The number of Chinese tourists to Antarctica has grown significantly in recent years, from fewer than 100 in 2008 to 3,944 in 2016. Chinese tourists already make up the second largest group of visitors, second only to those from the US.

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