Growth and diversification of tourism activities in Antarctica have not been matched by proactive strategies for planning or management. Recognizing that the adaptive management approach has been effectively implemented in managing tourism in protected areas, we examine to what extent this approach has been incorporated into the Antarctic tourism research and management, and what constraints exist for its implementation. To better understand the extent of literature contributions, we conducted an appraisal of 72 peer-reviewed journal articles published from 1992 to 2020 and Antarctic management documents. From a scientific perspective, researchers have been advocating for adaptive management approaches to Antarctic tourism and have applied different elements, particularly ecological assessments, design of management measures, monitoring, and regulatory mechanisms. However, these contributions have not been necessarily translated into management policy and regulations. We acknowledge that full implementation of an adaptive management approach is not easily achievable due to the unique Antarctic regime. However, we argue that comprehensive site-specific and regional adaptive management models could be applied as the first step for a more systematic implementation. This incremental approach could contribute to enhanced stakeholder participation and improved decision-making processes, ultimately leading to a more proactive and effective management of Antarctic tourism, essential for the conservation of the continent.