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Antartica Gains Popularity Among Chinese Travellers

Antartica as a travel destination for travellers

Antartica as a travel destination is booming, with Chinese consumers all over trying to get a taste of it. During the Chinese New Year holiday season, the country’s biggest online travel agency CCtrip reported a sharp rise in bookings, costing up to and over $29,150.


  • The average spend of high-end Antartica travellers from China is about $36 thousand.
  • 70% of travellers take at least 16 days on Antartica tours.
  • 38% book the tours 8 months in advance.
  • The primary Antartica tourism driving force from China are those between 35 and 50 years old consisting of corporate executives and owners of private companies according to a report from a Chinese travel agency HHTravel.


The growth of Antartica as a travel destination is most evident in its year over year growth between November 2016 and this February this year, with Ctrip receiving more than 100 orders for its Antarctica tour packages, nearly double that of the same period a year ago.


A unique experience

Behind Antartica’s rise in popularity is the rise of income for Chinese who seek more exciting and memorable adventures, along with the shift in mindset among the younger affluent post-90s Consumer who are investing more in unique exclusive experiences for status gain over material wealth.


Du Jie, a 29-year-old Beijing traveler, took a trip to Antarctica for 10 days in November. In Antarctica, he tried a polar plunge, jumping into icy water, while hiking the snowy mountains with other cruise members.



Breath of fresh air

The growing issue of air pollution in China has been a factor in residents leaving in search of clean air — even if only temporarily.


  • According to the “Smog Escape Travel Ranking” survey by Ctrip, in the midst of the country’s ongoing smog problem, online searches for keywords like “smog escape”, “lung cleansing” and “forests” were reported to have tripled.
  • Heavy pollution levels have led 62 Chinese cities, including Beijing, to issue health alerts.
  • Pollution was found to be at medium or higher levels in 186 cities, and 25 have been issued with red alerts – the highest warning level – by the country’s ministry of environmental protection.


Along with destinations like the Maldives and Iceland, Antartica is seen as an ideal place to escape to away from the detrimental effects that residing in these polluted areas may have on health.