South Africa Looks To Norway To Expand Antarctic Tourism Opportunities

Written by Dana Sanchez

Norway has a wealth of experience in the oceans economy and has partnered with South Africa on a variety of research programs in Antarctica since 1959. That’s the year South Africa established its first Antarctic base at an abandoned Norwegian base on the edge of an ice shelf in Dronning Maudland.

The first team to cross Antarctica overland in 1958 included South African meteorologist, Hannes la Grange.

La Grange took the South African flag to the South Pole and led the first South African National Antarctic Expedition (SANAE 1) in the summer of 1959, helping establish a permanent South African presence on the continent that continues to this day, according to the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa website.

From the South African Department of Environmental Affairs in All Africa.

The week-long Norway-South Africa Science Week held Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, 2016, in Cape Town focused on opportunities that the oceans economy presents for both South Africa and Norway.

Science Week brought together and forged new relationships for different stakeholders in infrastructure, education, research, innovation and business in South Africa and Norway, who shared their perspectives and expertise.

The goal was enhancing South Africa as a gateway to Antarctica, focusing on balancing ecological, economic and social goals towards a sustainable development.

There are opportunities for scientific research and innovation on which South Africa and Norway can collaborate. South Africa derives about 4 percent of its gross domestic product from the surrounding oceans. It has an opportunity to present itself as a gateway to Antarctica for many countries that have a presence there.

There are budget constraints for South Africa which require finding new sources of funding. Some key economic reasons to allocate budget towards the Antarctic region are that South Africa has a global position, status and stewardship and there is a public goods provision, gateway income and support of sustainable development such as catching fish.

South Africa plans to cooperate with Norway on providing service for countries that leave for Antarctica through South Africa.

A key strategy is a proposal for air-corridor tourism. Activities such as snow skiing, skating, snow kite boarding, marine, animal, scenic and bird viewing hikes and snow riding in Antarctica could boost economic potential for South Africa.

Read more at All Africa.