How many people visited our sites last season?
To mark World Tourism Day, we’re taking a look at how many people visited our sites last season. Some of the numbers may surprise you.
Last season, following years of disruption caused by the pandemic, UKAHT returned to Antarctica and our new Port Lockroy team reopened the base to the public for the first time in two years. It was wonderful to see people back at our sites, talking to our staff, exploring the huts or just standing in silence, gazing at the ethereal landscapes and unique wildlife that can only be found in Antarctica.
UKAHT conserves six historic huts and their artefacts, including the birthplace of British Antarctic science at Base A Port Lockroy, to safeguard Antarctica for generations to come.
Our sites tell unique stories of discovery and scientific exploration and each one has its own distinct personality. As such, they all carry different appeal. Some visitors prefer the quiet eerieness of Base E on Stonington Island or the homeliness and compactness of Wordie House, while others favour the cheerful bustle of Port Lockroy.
In addition to providing practical care of the buildings and artefacts inside, part of UKAHT's role in Antarctica is to monitor the wildlife including capturing data on the resident gentoo penguins and the number of visitors and ships in the area, in accordance with the Antarctic Treaty.
Our Antarctic teams play a significant role in educating visitors on the impact of climate change in Antarctica and advocate how we can all play a part in reducing our own impact.
Fresh off the press from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) – which UKAHT is an associate member – and just in time for World Tourism Day, visitor numbers for last season have been released. Therefore, we thought we’d briefly examine how many people visited our sites last season.
- Damoy Point in Dorian Bay, home to Damoy Hut, surprisingly out-stripped Port Lockroy last season to become Antarctica’s eighth most visited site.
- Port Lockroy was the 17th most visited site.
- UKAHT sites account for 6% of all visitor landings on the continent.
- Last season, our unmanned sites (all sites other than Port Lockroy) received 52,735 visitors.
- UKAHT sites’ visitor numbers were up last season by 65% compared to the 2019/20 season – the last season unaffected by the pandemic.
- Detaille Island Hut – the hardest of our bases to reach – was not the least visited: that was Wordie House.
- Overall visitors were up by 42% compared to 2019/20.
- In total, there were 323 sites listed by IAATO last season.
UKAHT site visits 2022/23
These are the final visitor numbers for the 2022/23 season from IAATO. The numbers below represent unique visits to a UKAHT property. In theory, an individual could visit multiple or even all six of our sites during their trip to Antarctica.
|Damoy Point/Dorian Bay||10,594||13,532||14,378||14,864||6,900||28,757|
|Goudier Island & Port Lockroy||21,649||20,519||22,374||17,095||1,970||19,913|
What is World Tourism Day?
Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has celebrated World Tourism Day as an international observance on 27 September. For World Tourism Day 2023, the focus is on green investments. You can find out more about this year’s events on the UNWTO website.
Support our work Protect Antarctica's heritage
Every membership and donation we receive helps our expert teams deliver vital conservation work across the heritage sites that we preserve. Without your support, sites of great importance in Antarctica's history could quickly deteriorate, taking with them historic artefacts, tales of scientific advancement and human endeavour that inform how we, as a global community, view and value Antarctica today. With your help, we can continue to conserve this special continent to ensure its protection for years to come.Donate now
Follow a unique colony at the end of the world
The gentoos of Port Lockroy are perhaps some of the most famous penguins in the world! The colony made their home with us on Goudier Island over 30 years ago and we have been studying and contributing to their protection ever since. Inquisitive, fluffy and funny, we love sharing their activity with everyone around the world.Buy now Buy now as gift Renew your adoption