In just a decade, the travel industry will step into a revolutionary and historic new chapter for mankind: space and underwater travel. After gazing into their crystal balls, a group of futurologists and industry experts have issued a slew of prophecies in the final installment of a Skyscanner report that aims to paint a portrait of travel in the year 2024.
For intrepid travellers looking for the next uncharted destination — for those who’ve already trekked through Antarctica and befriended native tribes in Papua New Guinea — space tourism will finally become viable for regular, though somewhat affluent, mainstream travellers, the report says. No astronaut training required. Likewise, journeys to the bottom of the sea will also become a fashionable travel trend, turning underwater holidays into a niche market.
Orbital journeys: the tourist space race
While private companies have been working frantically to beat each other to the punch in the race to space over the last few years, it will be within the next generation that commercial space carriers like Virgin Galactic and World View Enterprises will finally take to the skies and the Earth’s orbit. “Looking beyond the 10-year mark, we will be able to book more affordable trips into space where we can go up there and stay up long enough to enjoy and savour an exciting, alien environment,” says futurist Daniel Burrus in a statement.
Sojourns and site-seeing under the sea
Interest in underwater tourism is also growing and within 10 years will become a full-fledged market, the report suggests. Polish company Deep Water Technology, for instance, has already designed a futuristic-looking luxury hotel made up of spaceship-like discs, built partially underwater to offer guests views of their marine surroundings. Specs for the Water Discus Hotel, which are planned for Dubai and the Maldives, call for an underwater deck built up to 10 meter below the surface for aquarium-like views of the sea floor.
Between the two emerging types of travel — space and underwater — however, Skyscanner CEO Gareth Williams said he’s betting that underwater tourism will become more mainstream given the prohibitive costs of commercial space travel.