Tourism has allowed many people to experience the wonders of Antarctica. Their experiences have led to a greater recognition of the region’s importance.

Commercial tourism to Antarctica dates back to the late 1960s. There has been rapid growth in Antarctic tourism since the late 1980s. Now, there are a wide range of tourist and adventure activities.

As more people visit the southern regions, careful management is required. Visitors must avoid wildlife disturbance, vegetation trampling, introduction of non-native species and pollution. Strict guidelines help avoid these adverse impacts.

The Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is responsible for the management of the nation’s activities in the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic region. The Australian Antarctic Division has the prime responsibility for managing the programs and policies involved. These include environmental authorisations and approvals relating to tourism and non-government expeditions in Antarctica.