Some people see Antarctica as a ‘last resort’. For others, it’s a backstage


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In a new study, researchers found the main reason why many people go to Antarctica to socialize – to celebrate anniversaries, honeymoons or to spend time with family for a walk. rest – rather than a passion for the land and its wildlife.

The findings raise questions about the effectiveness of care interventions and educational practices for this existing group of Antarctic tourists.

“Some people go to Antarctica for education and experience, some people go to fulfill a dream of life, and some people go as a journey – they go to a lot of places, but they don’t go there, ”the author said. Yu-Fai Leung is a professor of parks, recreational management and tourism at North Carolina State University. “The team was very interesting. They didn’t say anything about the penguins or seeing other wildlife as a main reason; they were going on a holiday vacation. , birthdays or anniversaries, and they chose Antarctica in the background. “

Researchers have begun pre-pandemic research on tourism in Antarctica as tourism in the country grows. The pre-pandemic, 2019-2020 tourist season saw more than 74,000 trips-double the number of trips seen five years earlier. While tourism can be a tool to inspire people to become conservation ambassadors for Antarctica – a fragile ecosystem that is prone to glaciers, invasive species, and animal diseases – it can it creates problems.

“Over the last two years, innovations and innovations have been introduced in Antarctica that are attracting the interest of a group of people,” said the study’s lead author. Daniela Cajiao, a former visiting student at NC State and a graduate student. at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. “There are new ways to travel there. This will change how you get to Antarctica, but also experience some of the attractions that visit.”

To understand the perception of tourists, the researchers surveyed people before and after their trip by ship or plane to Antarctica during 2019-20. They found four main motivations for tourists traveling to Antarctica: knowledge and learning (31%), social interaction (28%), travel (23%), or go on a journey of life (17.5%).

They looked at people in the “social bonding” and “travel of a lifetime” group who saw Antarctica as the ultimate destination; a study documented by researchers with other areas affected by climate change, such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Arctic.

“Now that more and more people are going to Antarctica for travel or social interaction, how do we feel about talking to these tourists?” said Cajiao. “They probably don’t want to go to all the lectures. We need to think about how we can better deliver safety and environmental messages that can address changes in environmental concerns or issues. Work in the long run. “

When they find out if the visitors in any of the groups have learned anything from the trip – or appear to have learned something – they see the visitors on the group’s “journey of a lifetime.” The greater the meaning of learning. Visitors in the “knowledge and learning” group had the highest average score for actual learning.

Surprisingly, they also found a link between how visitors felt about how much they had learned, and how they felt about changing their environment.

“We knew it didn’t matter if you really learned the facts or the lessons about Antarctica, the land, or the ecosystem,” Leung said. “It’s about how much you’ve been taught. It shows how much people think; it’s a piece of knowledge.

“If you think you’ve gained something from the experience, then it will change you and your performance after the trip.

The researchers said it was very difficult to find a large sample or report on Antarctic tourism, and this study was no different. They want to enhance their learning by continuing to focus on tourist attractions and relationships.

They also said they would like to learn about real changes in the future, as well as looking at the Antarctic tourism after the slowdown and closure of the disease. Leung said that while tourism has not fully recovered from the pre-pandemic stages, they believe.

“We want to see how this will change again after COVID,” Cajiao said. “Maybe people see the world differently.”

The study, “Tourist engagement, education and travel enjoyment enhance the pro-environmental impacts of Antarctic tourism,” published in Journal of Outdoor Fun and Tourism.

The tourist-friendly relationship: SFU knows the reason for it

More information:
Daniela Cajiao et al, The motivation of tourists, learning, and enjoyment of travel influence the environmental impacts of Antarctic tourism. Journal of Outdoor Fun and Tourism (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jort.2021.100454

Presented by North Carolina State University

Directions: Some people see Antarctica as a ‘last resort’. For others, a backdrop (2022, April 12) retrieved on April 12, 2022 from

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