Space tourism, including space hotels, theme park rides and flying people into space, could be worth $23 billion by 2030.
UBS Group AG also predicted that the total space industry could be worth around $805 billion by then, with commercial aviation and tourism accounting for $20 billion and $3 billion, respectively.
In the UBS Chief Investment Office report, ‘Longer Term Investments – Space’, strategists forecast that the entire space sector will grow from $340 billion to $926 billion by the year 2040.
Analysts explained that as space technology continues to evolve and costs fall, airlines may embrace the idea of space tourism.
Companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic are already investing in eventually taking tourists into orbit, taking reservations for upcoming space flights.
A UBS survey found that people would be more comfortable travelling on a spaceship than on a pilot-less plane. However, prices would need to fall for space tourism to become mainstream.
In 2001, Dennis Tito became the first self-funded space tourist when he paid $20 million to spend eight days in orbit on the International Space Station.
Currently, the cost of a ticket to sub-orbital space with Virgin Galactic is $250,000.
Space theme park attractions
If the industry takes off, UBS say that it will open opportunities for companies. Hotel operators could license their names to space hotels, entertainment firms could offer space tourism as theme park attractions, and tour operators could get involved.
In more space-themed news, a new hotel resort in Crimea offers visitors an ultra-themed space experience, reportedly inspired by the Star Wars franchise.
The spaceship-themed complex is also a museum and entertainment centre.
Elsewhere, PGAV Destinations has partnered with Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) to create a Space Exploration Gallery celebrating the Apollo legacy, opening spring 2019.
The view of space exploration’s future is an interactive experience that puts guests in the commander’s seat.
Image and video: Virgin Galactic