The Government of the British Antarctic Territory is pleased to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) with the release of this special stamp issue.
IAATO is a non-profit industry association and its founding principles and mission, to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private sector travel to the Antarctic, remain as true today as they did 25 years ago. The organisation, which was founded by seven operators in 1991, now has a global network of over 100 member companies including ship, yacht, air and land operators as well as tourism companies and bureaus, agents and specialist expedition management companies.
Protecting the unique Antarctic environment is a collaborative effort. IAATO works within the framework of the Antarctic Treaty System, recognising that the protection of the continent is largely dependent upon the Treaty’s sound environmental policies. Members are committed to working diligently to establish extensive operational procedures, activity guidelines and restrictions, with the goal of "leaving the Antarctic Environment as pristine and majestic for future generations as it is today”. During the 2015-2016 season, 38,378 people visited Antarctica with IAATO members. Their high standards and self-regulatory approach mean that, to date, no discernible impact on the environment has been observed, while at the same time enabling people to continue experiencing Antarctica first-hand whilst protecting this extraordinary wilderness.
The Government of the British Antarctic Territory works with IAATO to support effective visitor management and to better understand the tourism challenges of the future.
66p: (Zodiac cruising among icebergs). All activities in Antarctica must undergo an assessment process by a relevant government authority before being granted permission to proceed. For IAATO activities, this means having less than a minor or transitory impact on the environment. Zodiac cruising offers a good means of observing wildlife without disturbance.
76p (Tents lit at night): First-hand travel experiences lead to a better understanding of the destination, the need for responsible tourism and, ultimately, continued protection for future generations. IAATO’s wilderness etiquette underpins the recognition that the wilderness aspect is intrinsic to a visitor’s experience of Antarctica.
£1.01 (Kayaks): IAATO members must incorporate relevant IAATO guidelines into their own operating procedures. Activities, such as kayaking, are led by experienced guides. IAATO provides an annual assessment for field staff to ensure they are up to date with the latest IAATO and Antarctic Treaty System requirements for safe and environmentally responsible operations.
£1.22 (Vessel with penguins in foreground): The IAATO fleet consists of some 65 vessels. IAATO works closely with the International Hydrographic Organisation’s (IHO) Hydrographic Commission on Antarctica that promotes technical cooperation between Antarctic vessel operators in order to improve surveying and charting of shipping areas in the region.
Layout: Bee Design
Printer: BDT International
Perforation: 14 per 2cms
Stamp size: 28.45 x 42.58mm
Sheet Layout: 10
Release date: 13 November, 2016
Production Co-ordination: Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd
66p Kim Crosbie
76p Richard Wadey
£1.01 Colin Tribe
£1.22 Paul Theolis
FDC Richard Haworth