- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 10th May 2017
- Antarctic, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctic Treaty System, IAATO, South America, Tour operators, Ushuaia
While the U.S. is still number one for Antarctic tourism, the Chinese have overtaken Australians as the second largest group of tourists to the continent, according to tourism figures for the 2016-2017 season announced by The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).
Chinese now make up 12 percent of all visitors (a year-on-year increase of 25.7 percent in their numbers), while Americans represent the largest share at 33 percent (a 7 percent year-on-year increase) and Australians made up 10 percent of the total (increasing 5 percent in number). The total number of visitors travelling to Antarctica with IAATO members was 44,367, a rise of 15 percent compared with last season. For the 2017-2018 season, an increase of 5 percent is expected, representing 46,385 visitors.
Following the Antarctic Treaty System, Tour operators abstain from making landings in Antarctica from cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers. The ships also have to coordinate with each other so they do not land at the same time. Maybe these rules will be more challenged in the future with the strong increase of arrivals in Antarctic.
Moreover, most of these trips operate in the Antarctic Peninsula region from November to March during the five-month austral summer season, leaving from South America and in particular from Ushuaia in Argentina. However, a few tourists decide to fly to the Peninsula where they immediately join a cruise ship. This way of travelling to Antarctic has shown the most growth, with 36 percent, while cruise without any landing declined by 8 percent.
COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute provides expert insights into the worldwide developments of China’s outbound tourism market. As Chinese outbound tourists are travelling to a large range of destinations, our publications cover a number of regions, providing detailed insights and analysing visitor behaviour.
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Source: Maritime Executive