Antarctic tourists are people close to senior citizens. More than 40% are between 60 and 69 years old and 36% are from the United States compared to 26% of Europeans. The profile of the Antarctic tourist is of a traveling person, of advanced age, with high purchasing power and whose main motivation is the enjoyment of stepping on the only continent in which they have not been previously.
The progression and growth of tourist activity in Antarctica has made that some scientists are interested in assessing this impact. While tourists in the nineties were about 5.000 a year, the number had doubled in 2000, but had tripled in 2005 to 30.000. In 2008, 50.000 travelers were reached. This number fell in 2009 due to the economic crisis to 48.152 people. These numbers are comparatively still moderate. In Antarctica there is a permanent population of some 4.000 scientists from different countries.
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