In new research, researchers have found that the main reason why many people go to Antarctica is to connect for an anniversary, a honeymoon, or a time to be with their families on vacation and not for any particular interest in the land and its wildlife. The findings raise questions about the efficacy of conservation and education appeals to this emerging cohort of Antarctic tourists. Researchers launched a pre-pandemic study on tourism in Antarctica because the number of people travelling to the continent has grown and diversified.
The 2019-2020 tourist season saw over 74,000 visitors, double the number in the previous five years. Yet, while tourism may be one tool for inspiring people to be ambassadors of conservation in Antarctica, a delicate ecosystem facing collapsing glaciers, invasive species, and disease among wild animals can pose challenges.
They also said that in work ahead, they would like to look at real-world changes in behaviour, and they would like to examine tourism to Antarctica in the wake of slowing down and shutting down due to the pandemic. Leung said while tourism might not yet be fully back at its pre-pandemic levels, they anticipate it will.