BEIJING, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) - China's Ministry of Natural Resources has recently released an application guide for tourist activities at the Great Wall station in Antarctica.
Enterprises that have travel plans to the Antarctic research station can submit applications to the ministry on working days from Sept. 15 to 30 every year, the ministry said on its website.
The Great Wall station, built in 1985, is China's first research base on the continent. It is located near a nature reserve where groups of penguins and seals are often seen.
The research station is the most popular destination for domestic tourists. With only 30 staff, it receives more than 2,000 Chinese visitors each summer and is faced with increasing pressure to perform its regular tasks and maintain its safety and environment.
China is a consultative member of the Antarctic Treaty. In order to fulfill the obligations of the international conventions, all applying enterprises must strengthen education on environmental protection for visitors, and comply with the protection requirements of the Antarctic environment, wild animals and plants, the ministry said.
China is now ranked second as a tourist source for Antarctica after the United States.