Policy Challenges of Tourism as a Commercial Activity in Antarctica
Policy framework directly affects travel and transportation to tourist destination, demand and supply, as well as coopetition and global importance. Tourism policy is linked to economic development as it stimulates the development of infrastructure, growth and expansion of crucial industries that supply the tourism industry with various services and commodities in addition to facilitating the transfer of technology, and attracting foreign investment into the local economy (OECD, 2010; Rodary, 2009).
For instance, the UNWTO (2012) urged governments to enhance their efficiency in the facilitation of travel especially by easing visa application and other travel procession protocol. This is possible through a policy framework that would stimulate greater use of technology, especially with respect to information and communication to make international travel by tourists much more efficient. Travel efficiency would undoubtedly stimulate more travel and the outcomes would be greater economic returns through increased international tourists’ arrivals. The UNWTO links the facilitation of travel to greater tourism development, which would ultimately boost demand.
In the case study of tourism in Antarctica, policy and economic development, numerous negative impacts on the general environment of the sub-continent, researchers based there and visitors seemingly outweigh the economic benefits derived from any tourism activities. The negative impacts range from destruction of flora and fauna, disruption of the ecosystem, introduction of new diseases, number of accidents and costs incurred for rescue missions and response to other emergencies, among others. Evidently, the high risk nature of the destination makes negative consequences outweigh any positive benefits especially in the absence of an effective policy regulatory framework. The case study particularly criticizes the Antarctic policymakers of...