Space tourism to fuel South Africa's rise as travel hot spot

This article has been written by Sanskrity Sinha for IBTIMES.COM

South Africa is poised to lead space tourism as the country is focused on developing world-class space technology including building of spaceports.

One of only a few countries that witnessed growth in tourism despite the global downturn, South Africa is rearing to become the next hot spot for space tourism, according to the World Travel Market (WTM) Global Trends Report 2010.

"To tap into the opportunities of space tourism, there has already been significant investment in space exploration in Africa," Fiona Jeffery, chairperson of World Travel Market, a global travel trade fair which is on through November 11, 2010 in London, said in the report.

The report was prepared in association with Euromonitor International, a global market research company.

Astronomy tourism, in which tourists get to look into the outer space through telescopes or observatories, has already been on rise in the African country that is home to some of the world's known astronomical observatories. The country's largest telescope called Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), located on a hill top near Cape Town, attracts a huge number of tourists. While hotels are making the most of the astronomy tourism with telescopes in rooms on offer, South Africa is looking forward to the completion of "much awaited" MeerKAT telescope facility through which visitors will be able to see detailed images of objects in the outer space.

According to official data, arrival of tourists in the whole of African continent grew by 9.4 percent so far this year. South Africa has had a major role in this growth as it hosted the FIFA World Cup 2010 earlier this year that saw an upsurge in arrivals.

This article has been written by Sanskrity Sinha for IBTIMES.COM


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