Antarctic tourism: spatial structure and dynamics of international tourist flows (for the seasons of 2011-2020)

Keywords: Antarctic tourism, Antarctic Treaty, tourist flows, Ukrainian station Akademik Vernadsky


The theoretical foundations of the origin and development of Antarctic tourism are considered. The first proposals for Antarctic tourism were recorded in 1910, but it was not until the 1920s that the first tourists were able to visit the mainland. The beginning of commercial tourism to the Antarctic was laid by Lars-Erik Lindblad on his cruise liner «Explorer», which in 1966 made the first commercial tourist flight to the continent. In the 1980s of the 20th century, Antarctica was visited annually by about 2,000 tourists. In the 1990s, Antarctic tourism became a mass phenomenon, flights over the Antarctic resumed. The Antarctic Treaty system is considered. In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was concluded, and in 1961, it established the status quo, which prohibits the making of new territorial claims and the expansion of old claims made before 1959. The treaty declares the freedom of scientific research in the Antarctic. It has been analyzed that the current lack of territorial possessions of one or another country in the Antarctic facilitates the conduct of comprehensive scientific research. It has been established that in Ukraine only one dissertation study is devot- ed to the issues of Antarctic tourism. All other works of scientists are devoted to biological, gravimetric, mineralogical, geodetic, ocean- ographic, physical, geological research of the Antarctic. It has been proven that modern directions of regional complex geographical re- search of the Antarctic are closely related not only to the provision of national interests, but also to the solution of global environmental problems. An analysis of the spatial structure and dynamics of international tourist flows to the Antarctic was conducted for the seasons 2011-2020. During this period, 389,800 people visited the continent. There is a constant increase in the number of visitors. Travel by mode of transport is considered. During the entire period of the study, the largest number of visitors (71.5% of the total number) usedcruise ships / yachts with a landing on the shore with an excursion to the mainland. An analysis of the distribution of tourists by country of origin was carried out. The Top-20 places of Antarctica, which are the most visited, are considered. During the 2016-2017 – 2019-2020 seasons, the number of visits reached 7,086. The top five are occupied by Cuverville Island (9.07% of the total number of visits during the study period), Goudier Island (8.65%), Neko Harbor (8.55%), Whalers Bay (8.24%), Half Moon Island – Chinstrap Colony (7.83%). The station «Akademik Vernadsky” ranks 13th with 194 visits, which is 2.74%. The most popular tourist destinations in East Antarctica for the 2019-2020 season have been reviewed: Amundsen Sea with ship cruises, Cape Evans with small boat cruises and shore landings, Cape Adare with ship cruises, small boat cruises and shore landings from it to the shore. It is noted that at the current stage of the development of society, it is impossible to forecast the tourist flow to the Antarctic for the coming season with the help of economic and mathematical modeling in connection with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Author Biographies

Nataliya A. Horozhankina
University of Customs and Finance, Dnipro, Ukraine
Viktor V. Hrushka
Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Dnipro, Ukraine
Zoya V. Boyko
University of Customs and Finance, Dnipro, Ukraine
Maxim V. Korneyev
University of Customs and Finance, Dnipro, Ukraine
Natalia A. Nebaba
University of Customs and Finance, Dnipro, Ukraine


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How to Cite
Horozhankina, N., Hrushka, V., Boyko, Z., Korneyev, M., & Nebaba, N. (2023). Antarctic tourism: spatial structure and dynamics of international tourist flows (for the seasons of 2011-2020). Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 31(4), 616-627.