US-based travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth has reported an increase in journeys to so-called ‘last chance’ destinations, aka those that are endangered.
According to Squaremouth, in the past year, travel to countries affected by climate change saw a significant increase in travellers. For example, there was a 68-per-cent-increase in travel to the Maldives, which is vulnerable to rising sea levels due to its low-lying islands. Australia witnessed a 25-per-cent-increase in travel – the world’s largest coral reef systems in Australia are at risk due to climate change, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Antarctica, meanwhile, saw a 17-per-cent-increase in travel. Its ice sheets are at risk due to global warming, which is directly impacting wildlife.
Although some destinations have limited the number of tourists they allow in, this has actually contributed to an increase in tourism interest. For example, due to the fear of over-tourism and the islands’ deterioration, the Galapagos Islands have limited tourism, yet have seen a 38-per-cent-increase in travel.
Other destinations have restricted entry, which is encouraging some travellers to visit before it’s too late due to government-imposed regulations. For example, Cuba has seen an 11-per-cent-increase in travel. There are concerns that future travel to this destination may become limited due to concerns surrounding US relations with the country.