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Abstract


Ingham, Rebecca J. and Debbie Summers.  "Falkland Islands Cruise Ship Tourism: An Overview of the 1999-2000 Season and the Way Forward," Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2002, 12:1 (Jan-Feb), 145-152

Falkland Islands' tourism is evolving at an increasing pace. A record number of passengers, 23 497, visited the Islands during the 1999-2000 season. This rise was due to an increase in both the frequency of vessel visits and the average passenger capacity of vessels, with the number of luxury cruise ships of >1000 passengers steadily increasing. The Falklands' industry is made up of three types of vessel: the expedition cruise vessels (ca. 100-200 passengers); larger cruise vessels (ca. 400 passengers), and the luxury cruise vessels (ca. 1000 passengers). The cruise ship industry has seen a diversification within the market, with cruises now available to a wider audience thus increasing the need for new experiences and landing sites. A similar diversification is being seen within the Islands themselves as the capacity to take larger vessels at remote sites is being developed. Whilst the expedition cruise vessels visiting the Islands are operating to high environmental standards as members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), vessels with 400+ passengers may not become members of IAATO, due to Article III of the organization's Bylaws which limits the number of passengers. These larger capacity vessels are therefore not subject to the same self-regulating guidelines. The implications of increasing passenger numbers in the islands are discussed with regard to pressures on both the wildlife and vegetation. This study outlines the need for an island-wide approach and a legislative framework to ensure high standards of operation are adhered to within the Islands from all visiting vessels and that accurate information is provided to all visitors along with a suitable code of conduct. The collection, collation and analysis of visitor data to identify trends and implement appropriate management strategies, and further research into the potential impacts of tourism on wil dlife in the Falklands are also recommended.

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