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South Georgia - 25th Anniversary of the International Association of
Antarctica Tour Operators

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the International Association of
Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) which was founded in 1991. The
organisation, which now numbers over 100 member companies, was
originally composed of just seven companies operating expedition cruise
vessels in the Antarctic. Members now also include yacht operators,
land and air operations, tourism companies and bureaus, agents,
conservation organisations and specialist expedition management

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. Members recognise that
the protection of the Antarctic is largely dependent upon the sound
policy to which all Antarctic Treaty nations adhere and IAATO remains
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”.

Whilst not a member of IAATO, the Government of South Georgia & the
South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) has worked closely with IAATO for many
years. IAATO’s high standards and self-regulatory approach mean that
IAATO vessels visiting South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands have
access to a wide range of approved landing sites. GSGSSI is working
with IAATO to better understand the tourism challenges of the future,
including the importance of facilitating visitor access whilst
protecting this UK Overseas Territory's unique environment.

During the 2015-16 season some 39,000 travellers visited the Antarctic
with IAATO members. Over the same period over 8,000 visitors travelled
to South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands on IAATO cruise vessels
and yachts.

55p: M/V Lindblad Explorer - the first vessel specifically built for
taking fee paying passengers to the Antarctic in 1969 and was the first
cruise ship to visit South Georgia.

70p: Wildlife protection is an essential aspect of any visit to South
Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands and zodiac cruising, in accordance
with IAATO guidelines, is a good means of observing wildlife, especially
dense coastal penguin colonies, without causing any disturbance or harm
to adult birds and chicks.

80p: Having completed a special assessment process, permission is
granted annually to a handful of overland expeditions. A significant
number of these involve IAATO guides leading specialist groups of
clients. The overland traverse of the island, following the route taken
by Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1916, remains the most popular.

£1: South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands receives in the region
of 15 visits by IAATO yachts annually. As well as carrying tourists,
some support expedition groups such as mountaineers or film production

Technical details:

Layout Bee Design

Photography Kim Crosbie (55p, 70p, FDC)

Skip Novak (80p, £1)

Printer BDT International

Process Lithography

Perforation 14 per 2cms

Stamp size 28.45 x 42.58mm

Sheet Layout 10

Release date 4 May, 2016

Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

For further information about IAATO please visit

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