chapter  17
10 Pages

Space tourism – Small steps, giant leaps: space as the destination of the future

Small steps, giant leaps: space as the destination
WithD.T. Duval

Space tourism, as a concept, occupies several ‘layers’ within the niche tourism context. First, it represents travel to a particular environment which is sensitive. Space tourism, in effect, shares this aspect of fragile environments with many other niche forms of tourism which also have these kinds of environments as their central focus (e.g. Valentine, 1992). Space tourism, therefore, is not entirely unlike those forms of tourism which are inherently designed and packaged for certain types of travelers. Ecotourism is perhaps most similar as it has, as its explicit purpose, the delivering of tourists to (often) fragile natural environments. Second, it fulfils the risk element so often found in niche tourism contexts. In other words, many niche forms of touristic activities have embedded within them an element of danger or lack of safety that can actually act as a motivator (Hall and Weiler, 1992). Many sub-forms of adventure travel are perfect examples, and space tourism fits neatly within this characterization. Third, space tourism can be further contextualized by the need of many travelers to undertake holidays which are inherently experiencebased (for elaboration, see MacCannell, 2002).