International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators launches ‘One-Stop’ App for polar guides In Antarctica
To mark Antarctica Day (1 Dec), the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has launched a free iOS and Android app for staff guiding visitors in Antarctica that makes it quick and easy for users on-the-go in the field to access essential information, without the need for a phone signal.
IAATO, a member organisation formed in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic, developed the new Polar Guide: Antarctica app to include existing operational procedures and guidelines for wildlife watching, visiting specific sites, being a responsible Antarctic visitor, preventing the introduction of alien species and more. The app is also intended to be a useful resource for anyone visiting or keen to learn more about Antarctica, the Antarctic Treaty and the work being done to preserve the continent’s extraordinary landscape and wildlife.
“The new IAATO Polar Guide: Antarctica app is the perfect support tool for IAATO staff in the field,” said Lisa Kelley, IAATO Head of Operations. “Users can quickly refer to essential information in order to meet all IAATO and Antarctic Treaty System requirements for safe and ethical operations on and around the white continent.
“Given the importance of the Antarctic Treaty System for IAATO’s mission of environmentally responsible travel and as a shining example of peaceful international collaboration, it seemed fitting to launch the app on Antarctica Day, which celebrates the signing of the Antarctic Treaty 58 years ago.“
IAATO members work together to develop, adopt and implement operational standards that mitigate potential environmental impacts.
The app will allow users to stay up to speed with the latest IAATO vessel and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) information for effective yacht and ship operations; and enable them to support Antarctic science and conservation while enhancing their experience in Antarctica by checking out selected citizen science projects.
Lisa added: “Antarctic travel, like other sectors, has changed and grown considerably over the last two decades. Our members are continuously researching new technology to strengthen our policy of safe and responsible travel while always abiding by Antarctic Treaty requirements.
“By using the IAATO Polar Guide: Antarctica App, you can feel confident that you are doing your utmost to protect Antarctica’s great wilderness; a cause IAATO members have dedicated themselves to since the organisation’s inception.”