Space Tourism: Research recommendations for the future of the industry and perspectives of potential participants

Maharaj Vijay Reddy, Mirela Nica, Keith Wilkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


This paper has two objectives. Firstly, it proposes a set of research dimensions for the further investigation of the emerging space tourism industry and secondly, it examines the perceptions of potential space travel participants on key factors that influence their motivation, behaviour and decision-making. The research methodology adopted in this study involved collecting quantitative data from British residents in Southern England to explore and understand their perceptions of space tourism. In addition, qualitative data was gathered by interviewing key informants connected to the space tourism industry including Virgin Galactic, Airbus and EADS Astrium to understand their views on people’s motivations, perceptions and the future of the industry. Data analysis shows that intentional need for adventure and exploration is the motivational force in space tourism. Willingness to undertake space travel is also influenced by the perception to risk, which plays a central role in potential tourist behaviour. Furthermore, factors such as type of space travel (orbital/sub-orbital),type of launch and design of the spacecraft, location of spaceports, training required, duration, insurance, health and reputation of the operating company also seem to have some influence on tourist decision-making. The paper contends that while global research dimensions are necessary it is also important to understand perceptions on a country-specific and regional basis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1102
Number of pages10
JournalTourism Management
Issue number5
Early online date30 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Space tourism
  • Research recommendations
  • Southern England
  • Motivation and demand


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