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Society

Ministry rules on South Pole

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2019-09-18 08:30:04Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
宠物论坛   三是将农村生活污水处理项目规划、设计、建设和运营相“捆绑”,交由一家公司负责。 宠物论坛 做好新时代文艺工作,特别需要我们全面准确领会好习近平总书记关于文艺工作的系列重要论述精神,深刻领会和把握其中的重要内涵。 宠物论坛   在政府参与和市场介入的双重压力下,这一类型景区在供给方式和管理体制上,始终缺乏清晰的统一标准。 武汉女人 倚林家园东门 宠物论坛 永定街道 武汉女人 悦来乡

Guideline limits Antarctic tourism, backs research

All Chinese mainland travel agencies must submit applications before organizing trips to the South Pole scientific research station, according to a draft guideline issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The ministry started receiving its first paper application materials on Sunday.

Required materials include an application to visit the Great Wall research station, a business certificate, a written safety guarantee and an environmental commitment, according to the ministry website.

The regulation seeks to better protect the polar environment and normalize research activities.

China is now the second largest source of tourists to Antarctica after the US, according to a report by the Science and Technology Daily on Friday.

Controlling tourists is an "urgent need," Zhang Xia, director of the Shanghai-based polar strategy center at the polar research institute of China, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The Chinese polar science station, which is located in a region where most international stations are concentrated to test the environment, has become a hot destination for Chinese tourists, Zhang said.

Some 5,300 Chinese tourists traveled to the South Pole in the 2016-17 season and that number increased to 8,200 in the 2018-19 season, according to statistics released by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, which was founded in 1991.

"Asking for applications can control tourist numbers and relieve the environmental stress on the South Pole, while giving the Great Wall research station enough time to arrange reception," Zhang said.

The earliest available spot for an international cruise to the Antarctica is three years from now, an employee of a travel agency based in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

A tour to China's Great Wall scientific research station is a default destination on a Chinese Antarctic itinerary unless the weather is too bad, an employee of another Chengdu-based agency told the Global Times.

The guideline states that tourists are allowed within 0.5 square kilometers of the station 8am-5 pm on open days.

Permitted activities are not detailed, but the station will designate a staff member to supervise travel activities.

Those who violate the regulations will never be allowed to visit the South Pole again. Punishments were not specified in the document.

Limited station resources cannot fully support so many visitors, Zhang said, noting that the guideline could draw a line between tourism and research.

The Great Wall Station is China's first research station in Antarctica and has been in operation since 1985.

It was a one-floor building when first built, and the "No.1 Building" covered most functions including dining, living and research.

After 34 years of development, the Great Wall Station is now a complex of more than 20 buildings. The "No.1 Building" has become a museum that showcases the history of China's exploration of Antarctica.

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