What is Extreme Tourism? Extreme Tourism tends to involve tourism in dangerous landscapes and/or climates (Deserts, Mountains, Rainforests). Visitors tend to partake in adventurous activities such as paragliding, rock climbing and white-water rafting. What type of people go on extreme holidays? The type of people who go on these extreme holidays tend to be reasonably young (around 30) and normally have no children. As these types of holidays are expensive, they tend to have well-paying jobs.
Tourists tend to travel in small groups instead of individually. However, recently retired people also tend to partake in extreme tourism, due to them having disposable money from their pension, normally not having to pay off mortgages, loans or have to pay for the needs of children or other members of family, yet still being fit enough to go on holiday in these environments. Why do people go on holiday in extreme environments? People normally go on extreme holidays because they seek a sense of adventure and an adrenaline rush.
They attract people who desire a holiday that is away from the norm, and prefer to go to places yet untouched by tourist development. They like to see sights that can’t be seen anywhere else, and wildlife that can’t be seen anywhere else (Icebergs and Emperor Penguins respectively). In addition to this, there is obviously the striking natural beauty of Antarctica which cannot be seen anywhere else, which naturally attracts tourists in and of itself. What attracts tourists to Antarctica? Antarctica has many features that are appealing to tourists.
There are a variety of sporting activities such as skiing, climbing and the ‘Ice Marathon’. In addition to this, people can partake in activities such as ‘following the steps of Amundsen’ and go spotting wildlife like Emperor Penguins and whales. Tourism to Antarctica can also be a form of ecotourism, where tourists arrive to learn about the melting ice caps and the endangered wildlife. The adrenaline rush from being in an inhospitable environment such as Antarctica as well as the wealth and variety of unique activities on offer makes it a very appealing extreme tourist destination.
What has happened to the number of tourists visiting Antarctica? Tourism in Antarctica has been happening since 1958, 47 years after Amundsen and his team first reached the South Pole. Although at that time, there were very few visitors to Antarctica, nowadays, Antarctica receives 28000 visitors per year, and although extreme tourism will never be an exceptionally large tourist sector, it is still today much larger than it was previously.
It is inevitable that the number of tourists will continue to rise in the future as tourism in the area becomes more and more advanced, infrastructure developed and advertising schemes become more widespread. What are the negative impacts of tourism in Antarctica? Although tourists only spend a short time ashore each time they visit, the impacts on the environment can still be considerable. Tourism can lead to the disturbing of animals such as penguins and seals, which then leave the area and migrate away, possibly leaving behind young.
As more and more of Antarctica is exposed to tourists, there will be less areas for these animals to live. The increase of tourism and more people on the ice shelf can lead to damage to the fragile ecosystems in the area. Disasters such as the sinking of the MS Explorer in 2007 revealed the fact that tourism in the area needs to be more restricted, and this disaster led to pollution and fuel spillages in the water, which also can harm marine ecosystems, which can then take years to recover.