While the world may have shut down, devastating the tourism industry we have recently seen a rise in press coverage on a brand new, exclusive type of tourism that may be the future of tourism. Headed by some of the worlds richest men Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
Space tourism may sound like a recent phenomenon but work on these projects dates back to the early 2000s. In 2001 Dennis Tito was the first commercial space passenger when he paid $20 million dollars to ride onboard a Russian space vessel headed to the international space station. Since this time commercial flights have been few and far between as the technology needed to create reusable space vessels has been the largest barrier to commercial orbital journeys.
In recent weeks we have seen a space race begin between billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos to be the first to launch themselves into space. Although has finally won this race with his Virgin Galactic flight launching into the edges of our atmosphere today reaching a height of 86km over his New Mexico it is expected that Bezos will launch himself further into space at 100km later this July. Not only is this industry backed by some of the richest men in the world it is receiving the largest percentage of funding in the tourism industry with $9 Billion dollars being spent on space tourism development in 2020 alone.
The main question many people have today is when will this technology be available to the rest of us non-billionaires and the answer is not anytime soon. Flights on Branson’s Virgin Galactic are currently priced at 200k with Bezos charging 220k for a spot on his Blue Origin vessel. While both of these flights aim to reach orbit for the bravest (and richest) of you spots abord the next space X flight to the international space station are available for $55 million dollars. There is the potential as space and interplanetary travel grows for the ability to travel on one of these flights to dramatically increase the welfare gap between the rich who can get into space and the poor who have to continue living on earth.
As tourism professionals, it is important to stay up to date on industry trends such as this and see the potential benefit we may be able to gain as professionals and as people. While currently, we may not be able to gain much personal benefit from these flights into space the potential career prospects are rather incredible. As these flights expand to include more passengers and reach a point of being of a similar size to the passenger flights we have today the need for staff who can take these flights and complement this experience with professional service are imperative. This also highlights the incredible potential a career in tourism can have. While you may be working on earth now who knows what the future can hold.
If a job in the Tourism industry sounds like something you’re interested in, inquire on our website: https://www.skillstrategies.edu.au/courses/tourism-travel-and-hospitality/
Article by Connor Bright, Marketing Coordinator SSI