How Many People Visit The North Pole Every Year?
Thursday, January 19, 2012
So you’re one of those adventure, off-the-beaten-path travelers that revels in the fact that you don’t bother with those touristy destinations around the world; that you knew about Laos, Colombia and Jordan long before everyone else did; and that there’s no place in the world you wouldn’t at least consider visiting.
So how about the North Pole? What’s that you say, you aren’t one of the few people that have trekked to the land of perpetual ice and snow to go where so few humans on Earth will ever visit?
Turns out you’re not exactly in the minority. In fact, the North Pole only gets about 1,000 visitors a year, as Annie Aggens, director of Northwest Passage Polar Explorers, recently told the Montreal Gazette. Though the North’s Pole evil twin, Antarctica, remains relatively accessible and well-visited — attracting close to 20,000 visitors last year — the North Pole has far more barriers to entry.
Namely, given the extreme temperatures, access is limited to just a few months out of the year (roughly the Northern Hemisphere summer). Further, if you plan on making the trip, get ready to shell out $20,000 minimum just to get there by plane, another $10,000 or so if you plan on skiing or dogsledding there. (No fancy Antarctic cruises or research stations here.)
Although, what’s even more discouraging is the fact that the North Pole has no fixed physical location. Given that its true location is basically located on a hodgepodge of floating chunks of ice, its actual location isn’t marked by any permanent marker like a monument or a Starbucks.
In other words, you basically walk along a white, frozen landscape until you abruptly stop as your guide announces that according to their GPS, you’ve made it. You look around, not able tell that it looks any different from what you’ve been looking at the past few days or so, and you take solace in knowing that one more box has been checked off in that virtual bucket list in your head. Then you turn around and head back, one more feather in your travel cap.
By Matt Stabile
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Stabile is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheExpeditioner.com. You can read his writings, watch his travel videos, purchase the book he co-edited or contact him via email at any time at TheExpeditioner.com. (@TheExpeditioner)