The Association has been monitoring and analyzing trends since 1991 as part of the commitment to ‘leave only footprints’ via the effective self-management of activities.
The upward trend in the number of visitors recorded since 2011-2012 continued in 2017-2018. Most of the visitors - 41,996 - travelled to Antarctica by sea on vessels offering shore excursions, representing a 16% increase in comparison with the previous year. 3,408 of them flew to South Shetland Islands on Antarctic Peninsula where they boarded a ship for onward travel.
The sector, popular as air/cruise, has increased (6%) in comparison with the previous season. A total of 9,131 visitors experienced Antarctica on 1 of 4 cruise-only ships that do not make landings, which is an increase of 22% since 2016-2017.
A total of 580 visitors flew to field camps in the interior of Antarctica with IAATO land operators. The number of Antarctic visitors was 51,707 in 2017-2018, an increase of 17% in comparison with the previous season.
American visitors remain the most numerous - 33% of the total number, which is the same as the previous year. Chinese visitors were the 2nd most numerous - 16% of all visitors and increasing by 4% points compared to 2016-2017. Australians, Germans and British were the next most enthusiastic visitors - 11%, 7% and 7% respectively.