Bark EUROPA is a member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) which promotes and practices safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic.
Since the beginning of the modern Antarctic tourism industry in 1969, the number of tourists in Antarctica has grown from a few hundred to more than 30.000 each year. Recognizing the potential environmental impacts that such growing numbers of tourism could cause, seven private tour operators conducting excursions in Antarctica joined together in 1991 to practice and promote safe and environmentally responsible travel in this remote, wild and delicate region of the world.
The signing of the Antarctic Environmental Protocol in early 1991 by the Antarctic Treaty nations provided the framework for the continued protection of the Antarctic environment. By joining together, the companies were able to pool resources and lobby to develop substantive regulations and guidelines compatible with the best practices that were already followed in the field.
Today, IAATO’s membership is truly international and comprised of more than 100 respected companies from all over the world. Membership includes ship and land operators, ship agents, travel agents, tourism bureaus, government offices, conservation organizations and so on.