Courtesy of ESA

The Future of Tourism

There are many incredible sights on Earth. I’ve seen the pyramids at Chichen Itza, the Sistine Chapel, la Sagrada Familìa, the Grand Canyon, the bays of Jamaica, the most magnificent sea cliff in Europe, the Parthenon, and many other wonders. I can assure you, you don’t need to leave this Earth to experience sublimeness. Yet tourism is ever-changing and transgressing. Space tourism is entering the lexicon of journalism. Deep sea tourism is becoming “a thing.” People are also ironically seeking out tours to do non-tourist experiences. Some people are seeking out virtual reality experiences to overcome the financial and physical barriers of actual reality.

We are going to look at three phenomena that are increasing in popularity and interest. One is the concept of “Moon Village,” a European Space Agency project that aims to create tourist experiences on the moon. The next is virtual reality tourism. The last is “not-a-tourist” travel experiences.

Holiday on the Moon

Courtesy of ESA
The Moon Village Multi Dome will be designed to protect travelers from radiation and micrometeoroids.

First off, I want to know your thoughts on the advent of space tourism. Tweet us with an answer to one of these questions…

  1. How much money would you spend to have a 10-night vacation on the moon? (Use the hashtag #MoonVacation)
  2. Does the idea of space tourism excite or frighten you? (Use the hashtag #SpaceTourism)
  3. Why travel to space at all? (Use the hashtag #WhySpace)

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Director General Johann Woerner is seriously committed to building Moon Village, a community of people working and living together on the moon. When asked about the importance of space exploration, Woerner states that it is an agent for international cooperation and collaboration. In other words, Moon Village is a way to promote peace and solidarity between various countries.

Moon Village wouldn’t just be a base or a lab. Woerner directly indicates that the project could extend to tourist-related business ventures. People (with a lot of money presumably) may very well be planning a future family adventure across space towards Moon Village. Bumper stickers will read “I♥MOON.VILLG.” Children will possibly be buying freeze-dried ice cream from a space shuttle vending machine.

Is this something to expect soon? Maybe, maybe not. Moon Village isn’t a specified plan of action. It is rather just a concept that functions to bring people together in building ventures on the moon. There are, however, scholars that are pointing to the 2020s as a likely decade for moon tourism.

VR Tourism

The future of virtual reality tourism.

Meet the Oculus Rift.

Imagine putting on a device and then being able to see into the jungles of Peru. You take a step forward, and hear a wild macaw to the left of you. The macaw is real, and has made a real sound. You, however, are in your living room.

Will you be taking vacations with this thing? No. But it is an optimal way to test out an experience, or build up a voracious excitement for your next adventure. You may access a scene in downtown Tokyo, peruse the streets, and determine if you really want to go there. Or, you can look down Mount St. Helens and be filled with the motivation you need to complete your pre-excursion physical conditioning.

After using VR technology for a consumer case study, researchers found a 190% increase in New York excursion revenue. Not only are these devices boosting people’s interest in visiting particular destinations, they are also being offered as an accessory in some hotels.

#NotATourist Experiences

Courtesy of MYrago

Some people don’t want to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The thought of cramming into a building with other sweaty people in the summer months turns them off. People are increasingly turning to alternative experiences that are fulfilling, but go against the grain.

Take, for example, the experience of meditating with a monk in Japan. Or instead of heading straight to the Statue of Liberty, going on a Harlem Jazz Crawl instead. This is exactly what services like MYrago are doing.

There are millions upon millions of unique experiences one can have in a foreign country. There are sights and scenes that the typical tourist will never see, and may regret missing. The Louvre will be there for a long time, but a chance to do a glacier hike in Chile may slip away.

 

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