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Tourism in the South Shetland Islands: Recent Changes in Local Destinations and Activities

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Abstract:

Antarctic tourism has been developed in the archipelago since the 1960s, but its growth has been remarkable since the beginning of the 1990s. The South Shetland Islands are the most visited tourist destination in the Antarctic and the Islands were visited by 22,604 tourists in the 2005–2006 season. Three phases of tourist activity can be distinguished: initial development (1965–1985), growth and consolidation (1985–1998), and growth and diversification (1998–2006). Changes have been detected in the tourist activities and frequentation of visitors to different sites. The last phase is characterized by the multiplication of annual trips and the diversification of tourist activities, typically from landings with short walks and visits to scientific stations, to new tourism activities that are more active in nature. Visits are concentrated in seven geographical areas and specialization in specific activities has developed at different sites. This article examines the evolution of maritime tourism, the use, frequency, and development of local tourist sites on the South Shetland Islands.

Keywords: ANTARCTIC TOURIST SITES; MARITIME ANTARCTICA; SHIP-BASED TOURISM; SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/154427307784771968

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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  • Tourism in Marine Environments is an interdisciplinary journal dealing with a variety of management issues in marine settings. It is a scientific journal that draws upon the expertise of academics and practitioners from various disciplines related to the marine environment, including tourism, marine science, geography, social sciences, psychology, environmental studies, economics, marketing, and many more.
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