Using Heritage to Engage Antarctic Tourists with Climate Change

  • Camilla NicholEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Antarctica is unique: geographically, environmentally, culturally and politically. Antarctic tourism is a fast growing phenomenon, in 2015/16 over 38,000 people visited Antarctica on a range of tourist trips—cruises, yachts or land-based activities, visiting sites largely around the Antarctic Peninsula. The majority of visitors derive from the United States, Australia, China and the United Kingdom, but the demographics are also fast changing. In the eyes of some, Antarctic tourism works to the detriment of the global effort to preserve Antarctica as the last wilderness. To others this is a unique opportunity to engage a ‘captive’ audience with some of the key issues around environmental conservation and climate change whilst they are immersed in such an environment. Many of the landing sites visited by vessel-based tourists in Antarctica are historic sites with former scientific stations still standing, many with artefacts still inside. There are over ninety designated Historic sites and Monuments (HSMs) in Antarctica and six of the British HSMs are managed by The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and are visited by the majority of the vessel-based tourists each season. This paper intends to explore the opportunities and some of the modes of engagement for using the historical evidence of human activity in Antarctica to raise awareness of the issues of climate change and to use Antarctic tourism as a vehicle for attitudinal change across cultural and international divides.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UK Antarctic Heritage TrustCambridgeUK

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