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IAATO delves into Antarctica gateway port issues

An IAATO committee will seek to address issues at ports that are gateways to Antarctica
Following a member survey that found room for improvement at the various gateway ports to Antarctica, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators has formed a gateway port committee.

The survey asked about facilities and services such as mooring, ship to shore cargo handling, pier facilities, waste reception (including recycling), bunkering, accessibility (flights), port fees, safety, availability of shore accommodation and restaurants.

Safety was considered satisfactory across all ports, but areas that could do with further development, across all ports, include mooring, pier facilities, waste reception, increasing fees and bunkering. 

With Antarctic tourism expected to continue increasing modestly, IAATO member operators noted that services have to improve to maintain sustainability at these ports and stressed that mutual business benefits would be gained through cooperation with the ports, their local authorities and surrounding communities.

The ports included in the survey were Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, Puerto Williams and the Falkland Islands/Malvinas. The IAATO gateway port committee will hope to work with the ports with access to the Ross Sea too, such as those in New Zealand and Australia.

'We’re looking forward to trying to work with all these ports, as there are many benefits involved for all,' an IAATO spokeswoman told Seatrade Insider.