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Abstract

Reports the results of surveys of Antarctic cruise ship passengers on the ‘Akademik Ioffe’ who undertook their Antarctic journey in January 2003. The prime purposes of the surveys were to determine the socio-economic profile of these travellers, evaluate the importance of Antarctic wildlife for their travel, their attitude to Antarctic wildlife conservation as well as environmental issues involving Antarctica, both prior to their tourist visit to Antarctica and following it. This paper reports on the socio-economic profile of respondents, their willingness to pay for their Antarctic trip, and their knowledge of Antarctica. The comparative importance of Antarctic wildlife as a factor motivating respondents to undertake their journey is assessed and the evaluation of travellers following their Antarctic visit is considered. The relative importance of different Antarctic wildlife species is taken into account as well as Antarctic attractions other than wildlife. The attitudes of respondents to several environmental issues involving Antarctica, (eg. the commercial use of its natural resources and global environmental change impacting on Antarctica) are canvassed and summarised. In conclusion, the relevance of the survey results for Antarctic conservation are discussed. Particular attention is given to the question of whether Antarctic tourism favours or threatens Antarctic nature conservation.

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