World Nomads Reports Surge in “Last Chance Tourism”

Climate Change Drives Travelers to Endangered Destinations


Fit Asian woman trekking in tropical rainforest, crossing riverbed on fallen tree trunk functioning as a bridge, with early morning mist Photo © Getty Images / Andrew Peacock
  • Ten-fold increase in claims from 2019 to 2023 when visiting “last-chance” destinations
  • Antarctica sales have jumped 40% from 2019 to 2023.
  • Greenland sales have almost doubled (89%) from 2019 to 2023.
  • Quotes for policies for the Arctic Circle have increased by 150% from 2019 to 2023

New York, April 23rd, 2024
: World Nomads, a leading travel insurance provider, reveals a significant rise in "Last Chance Tourism," reflecting travelers' growing interest in visiting at-risk destinations before they disappear. From 2019 to 2023, US claims related to some of these destinations have increased tenfold, encompassing everything from weather-related flight disruptions to serious medical incidents.

"Earth Month's conclusion and the upcoming summer travel season serve as stark reminders of the numerous destinations imperiled by climate change," remarked Christina Tunnah, General Manager Americas and Global Marketing and Brands at World Nomads.

US sales of travel insurance policies for regions like the Arctic and Antarctic have surged post-Covid, with Antarctica sales rising by 40% and Greenland sales nearly doubling (89%) during the same period. Additionally, quotes for policies covering the Arctic Circle have spiked by 150%.

The urgency to witness disappearing wonders is evident. The Maldives, facing inundation by rising sea levels, could be 80% uninhabitable by 2050 according to the US Geological Survey. Meanwhile, visitors to the Galapagos Islands, renowned for their endangered wildlife, are about to see a 100% increase in entry fees starting in August to help offset the ecological pressure from the sharp rise in tourism.

"Our adventurous nomads seek to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, but this often entails visiting sensitive ecosystems. When you go somewhere this remote, you’ll want to consider the increased risks you are taking on, both personally and environmentally," explained Tunnah. “There are things you can do though to help minimize your impact on these incredible places.”

To empower travelers to journey responsibly, World Nomads offers essential tips:

  1. Support ethical operators to foster responsible tourism.
  2. Choose eco-accommodations committed to sustainability. Check that they are actually “walking the walk” in addition to just talking about it.
  3. Opt for greener flying options, like direct travel instead of layovers
  4. Embrace eco-friendly toiletries and minimize waste. Consider taking some waste back with you (like empty shampoo bottles or plastic bags), as many of these places have trouble processing trash.
  5. Engage in responsible shopping, favoring local and handmade goods that support the people who live there.
  6. Consider purchasing travel insurance for unforeseen circumstances. If you get hurt, you don’t want to be a burden on a community already under strain.

In addition to these tips, World Nomads provides a Responsible Travel Guide free of charge.

"Today's travelers are committed to responsible travel, striving to make a positive impact on communities and the environment," emphasized Tunnah. "By purchasing travel insurance from World Nomads, you have the option to contribute a dollar or two at checkout. These micro-donations, pooled from travelers globally, fund various environmental and community projects, aligning with our dedication to sustainable travel."

Since its inception, The Footprints Network has enabled 1.3 million customers to raise $3.8 million for 268 global development projects, supporting initiatives like climate change mitigation and clean water access.

For more information and images, visit World Nomads Media Center.


Since 2002, World Nomads has been protecting, connecting and inspiring adventurous and independent travelers by offering specialized travel insurance and safety advice.

Our travel insurance products cover travelers from more than 100 countries. World Nomads focuses on what we believe is important to travelers: emergency medical and evacuation costs, baggage cover, trip cancellation, trip delay and trip interruption costs. We offer cover for more than 150 adventure sports and activities, plus tech and gear. We believe travelers have the responsibility to give back, and through our Footprints program, customers can add a small donation to the price of their policy to help fund a community development project with one of World Nomads’ global nonprofit and charity partners.

We are part of a suite of global specialist travel insurers owned by nib Group, Australia’s third-largest provider of travel insurance and a leading global distributor of travel insurance through nib Travel.  nib Group also provides health and medical insurance to more than 1.6 million Australian and New Zealand residents and more than 200,000 international students and workers in Australia.

Press Contacts:

World Nomads

Sarah Roman, Communications Manager