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Bid to sell the Falkland Islands as gateway to Antarctica

Monday, February 8th 2010 - 20:29 UTC
Full article 3 comments
British Antarctic research has a decades-long established link with the Falklands British Antarctic research has a decades-long established link with the Falklands

Informal talks began this week on a proposal to market the Falkland Islands to tourists as the “Gateway to Antarctica”, according to a report from the Penguin News latest edition.

The idea gathered momentum during a visit by British Antarctic Survey Deputy Director Robert Culshaw and board member Ian Dunn, who met with Falklands’ government and Legislative Assembly members to discuss a range of issues, from re-establishing BAS flights in and out of Stanley Airport to the relocation of the BAS office.

BAS, which has conducted scientific and environmental research in the Antarctic for more than 60 years, promotes its work extensively in the UK as part of its outreach program, and has offered to provide free content – such as exhibits and artefacts – if the Falklands Government was to provide an appropriate venue.

Mr Dunn, who joined BAS in October and was this week visiting the Falklands for the first time, said he was struck by the lack of a strong Antarctic presence particularly aimed at tourists.

“I couldn’t see anything which really built on the location of the Falklands as a gateway to the Antarctic,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Penguin News.
“For many of the ships this is their first call on the way down to the Antarctic, so you have a very interested market of relatively wealthy individuals.

“Part of our remit at BAS is to outreach, to share the science, to engage people in science, to capture the imagination of children in natural sciences and environmental sciences, and that’s what we’re charged to do, by the UK Government.

“We do it very extensively in the UK and I think we can also do it here in the Falklands. If you think about what the Falklands now have with regard to the tourist vessels coming in, and then you combine that with the content and history that BAS has, the opportunities for developing an interpretive centre, a visitor centre with very strong content is really enormous”.

Mr Culshaw said BAS would be happy to provide a range of exhibits, from sledges to science posters, and perhaps visiting lecturers.

“We’ve discussed it with several people and there is considerable interest in the idea.
“I’ve heard that the museum might eventually move further into town, for example. If you are doing any of that, or development along the waterfront, then a new centre could be the Falklands and Antarctica, with us providing some significant input.
“The existing museum has of course Antarctic content, so we’ve already got a beginning there. And there’s no doubt a lot of your cruise passengers here have an interest in the Antarctic.
“That’s why they’re here. So play to it – and sell them some merchandise.”

Mr Culshaw said the idea had come up during their visit and it was a “great opportunity” for the Islands to promote its historic links with the Antarctic.

Museum manager Leona Roberts said she thought the BAS offer was “a tremendous idea” and, while relocating the museum to the dockyards had been mooted for some years, she said: “I am starting to feel we may be getting somewhere.
“I would love to have the space and the opportunity to extend the Antarctic side of our exhibits.

“If the day comes when we can do more then absolutely, it would be tremendous. It would make a difference to the whole town.”

By Tony Curran - Penguin News

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • nitrojuan

    jajaja,, is that another desire to Malvinas occupied?? Ushuaia (its capital) will be forever the only and the best option to travel to Argentina Antarctica....

    Feb 08th, 2010 - 09:31 pm 0
  • rafregt

    I have been reading most of the comment for months now and i have found it very hard to read the crap that the argies spout.The falklands are Brittish for ever and just because the argies teach their kids the Falklands are theirs it doesnt mean that its so.

    Feb 10th, 2010 - 02:53 pm 0
  • jorge

    may be your grand-children will be able to witness the argentine flag waving in Malvinas again!
    That will be a day to remember for future generations. To remember what disgusting were the pirate actions of 1833.
    That day, south american people will see off the union jack from here for ever!!!!!!

    Feb 12th, 2010 - 03:26 am 0
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