How is space travel marketed and who is the target audience?2023-02-15
The revenue generated by orbital and suborbital space travel is expected to soar to 214 billion dollars by 2030. The increased access to space travel has created a space market.
Space tourism, a niche part of the flight industry, has radically transformed the private sector. The first all-civilian space flight by SpaceX in 2021 and the contributions from entrepreneurs and private entities such as Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin), Elon Musk (SpaceX) and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) have been met with a lot of public interest.
Despite an increasing demand, commercial access to space flight raises vital questions regarding sustainability issues. Hence, the term space market incorporates start-up businesses, policies and threats that bring comprehensive changes to value chains and create new needs.
Not much is written about models for the behaviour and responsibilities of space tourists. There is also a lack of research on the general and broad conceptualisation of space tourism, with regard to marketing and psychology.
Javaneh Mehran, postdoctoral researcher in Business Administration at Karlstad Business School and Service Research Center (CTF), has studied the new term space tourist.
– In my study, I examine how and to what extent technological progress and revolutionary innovations contribute an increase in demand on the space tourism market. Who will be the first to travel to space as a space tourists?
How did you conduct the research?
– We have analysed previous research with a team of international researchers in order to capture different academic perspectives on the commercial space industry. We have also examined the public’s reaction and initial thoughts on the space industry’s marketing efforts. It was an interesting journey which helped us set a road map for future research.
What would make a potential space tourist actually sign up for a trip to space?
– Consumers’ individual characteristics significantly impact the acceptance and adoption of new technologies, which encompass various attitudinal and behavioural responses that contribute to their decision-making process. Our study confirms that both the potential tourists’ consciousness of their social value and self-worth (for example variety-seeking behaviour and self-esteem) and environmental and legal dimensions and risks associated with commercial space travel, determine their decisions regarding space travel. For example, you can target rich people who are passionate about extreme sports and are willing to accept all manner of security risks and insurance costs.
Literature discussing analyses of social media discussions about space tourism confirm that positive sentiments dominate and surpasses negative sentiments. Most people still could not imagine themselves travelling to space, due to the complicated protocols, eligibility criteria and the associated travel costs and risks. We believe it is necessary to establish a well-functioning culture through regulations and societal norms, with regard to space tourism.