South Pole on bucket list of rich Chinese tourists
Chinese tourists to Antarctica are increasing in numbers as wealthy adventurers spare no expense to tick the South Pole off their list.
A tour guide takes eight intrepid elderly adventurers to the bottom of the world
How Chinese tourists are changing the world
A trip to the South Pole remains the most exclusive of all Antarctic destinations, costing around USD 100,000 per person (local flights and up to 10 days’ accommodation, depending on weather, included).
Travel is as much about numbers as it is about experiences to high-end Chinese tourists. Waiting for a flight to Antarctica from Cape Town in South Africa, our eight-person South Pole tour group eats at the same Chinese restaurant in Cape Town twice a day, every day for three days (Western food is consumed only under extreme duress) and dinner conversation revolves around one’s trips, past and future – how many countries visited, how big the group was, and how much it all cost.
Overtourism: how travellers can reduce global tourist invasion by throwing out the bucket list and creating alternative adventures
While just over 100 Chinese visited the whole of Antarctica in 2007, last year the number exceeded 5,000, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. Most book the cheapest and easiest option – an Antarctic cruise. Prohibitive pricing aside, complicated logistics, a short season and unstable weather limit the number of visitors to the South Pole, but last year alone around 70 Chinese tourists successfully made it there.
Antarctica is about as exclusive as it gets for luxury travellers
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