We're at the dawn age of commercial space travel
Space travel is 'emerging field' of travel says Space Perspective
The topic of space tourism was recently discussed in a roundtable session titled Capturing Demand for Travel Beyond Earth's Atmosphere, at the Phocuswright Conference in Miami, led by journalist Siew Hoon Yeoh from Web in Travel.
During the discussion, Edyta Teper, vice president, global sales & trade of Space Perspective, said: “Companies who embrace space travel right now can offer their clients a unique and valuable service – positioning themselves as experts in this emerging field and opening exciting and exclusive opportunities for their clients – while capturing the growing lucrative market before it really takes off”.
The three panellists discussed how there is more demand than supply of opportunities right now, for travellers to experience going to space.
Space Perspective has already sold more than 1,650 tickets for flights over the next several years, surpassing the number of seats sold by any other space tourism company. This represents $200M in sales.
It's soon to be the only option available, currently, for commercial flights into space.
On a mission to make space travel "accessible to more people than ever before", Space Perspective's innovative Spaceship Neptune, comprises of a pressurised capsule propelled by its giant SpaceBalloon™, with no training required for passengers.
Regulated by the FAA and following guidelines established by NASA, according to Teper the experience includes “unprecedented views of our planet through the largest windows ever flown to space, a world-class meal and cocktail service, Wi-Fi, and a lavatory.”
Travel agents remain a major point of sale for space operators though, as people look to their trusted travel agents and want to book the experience via these professionals.
Teper said around 60% of sales come through selling via retail travel agents and that “their expertise helps clients make informed decisions, manage expectations, and plan for an experience that is truly out of this world.”
Tara Hyland is an accredited space agent since 2006 and is a luxury travel advisor for the leading global network of luxury travel advisors Virtuoso.
She says that the anticipation of going into space is 60% of the experience and has even had a client say that even if she never gets to fly it will “still have been a great experience just thinking about it".
She pointed out that Virgin Galactic completed its inaugural commercial space flight on VSS Unity in June followed by five more flights with the most recent completed in November.
However, the company recently announced they will suspend flights of VSS Unity in January, 2024 to direct resources to the production of its next generation of sub-orbital space vehicles know as Delta Class and that the goal is to resume flights in 2026.
Hyland said: “It’s not just the super-rich booking these flights. The Space Perspective option is popular with people of all ages and backgrounds."
Teper added: “One day in the future, a family might be sitting there weighing up if they want to go to Disneyland or visit space this summer!”
Travel Insurance is an important component of this niche of travel and insurers battleface launched its space travel insurance product, which is underwritten by Lloyds of London, in 2021.
Sasha Gainullin, CEO of battleface, said: “The cost of insurance varies depending upon level of coverage, and the person being covered.
"Just like other trips, some clients don’t want to get a date in the diary and confirm their booking until they have insurance in place.”
Those without the means to participate can apply for the non-profit Space for Humanity's Citizen Astronaut Programme, where leaders, from any walk of life, can apply for an opportunity to go to space for free.