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Turning Everything Into Tourism

Today’s Wall Street Journal has a page B1 article, “New Company Aims to Send Tourists to Space“, highlighting the entry of rocket scientist Jim Benson into the space tourism field and competing with the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Paul Allen. The piece fails to mention my favorite space tourim firm, Eric Anderson’s Space Adventures.

Many may wonder: Are these space experiences really happening? Indeed they are, beginning with Dennis Tito’s groundbreaking launch (and record-breaking fee for an experience) back in 2001. One can monitor the industry at SpaceDaily.com.

Let me also note that the Rochester Institute of Technology now offers the first ever space tourism development course for undergraduates. What’s next? Perhaps a full major in the field!

Let me conclude with a lesson that can be applied to most every industry: One way to think more richly about experiences is to offer one’s output in the form of tourism. Go google “medical tourism”, “culinary tourism”, “film tourism”, and the like. New generes of experiences are emerging at every turn. In my travels, I’ve met a kitchen-and-bath remodeler charging customers $250 for a “Shopping Cruise”, basically a great date for a couple in which the remodeler rents a limo and acts as chaperone over the course of visiting a dozen or so stops in the design process. Call it “retail tourism”. I’ve met a golf pro who charges $2,000-$3, 000 for but two rounds of golf, one in Atlanta and another in Vegas, complete with private jet transportation and two nights at Mandalay Bay between rounds.

So consider how you can embed your offerings within some form of travel. People spend more when they’re in motion.

JG