New stats are suggesting the number of Chinese tourists travelling to the Antarctica has risen forty-fold over the past decade. Figures from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) show some 4,100 Chinese people travelled to the southernmost continent in the 2015-2016 season. Ten years ago, the number was only 99.
According to the Singapore-based zaobao.com, with the increase of disposable incomes as well as the relatively reasonable tour packages put forward by travel agencies, over 5,000 Chinese people are expected to travel to the Antarctica in 2017.
And China is set to surpass Australia and become the second largest tourist source for Antarctica, following just the US. Currently, Antarctica tour packages in China cost between 70,000 and 160,000 yuan.
Activities include a close look at local animals such as penguins, seals and whales, as well as camping and hiking. Most visitors land at the Antarctic Peninsula on vessels departing from southern Argentina.