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Authorities Now Embracing Space Tourism, But Entrepreneurs Propel Movement, Says Travel Visionary Gloria Bohan
FAIRFAX, VA - March 9, 2006– One of the early visionaries of the space tourism industry—Omega World Travel President and CEO Gloria Bohan—applauds the recent government recognition of the field, but says that entrepreneurs have been the major reason behind the advent of commercial passenger space travel and not any official pronouncement.
After the Federal Aviation Administration's December release of human space flight requirements and last month's announcement by the Secretary of Transportation that licensing for spacecraft to carry commercial passengers could happen as early as 2008, Gloria Bohan is encouraged, but somewhat pragmatic about where the impetus for space tourism lies.
"Entrepreneurial endeavors like ZERO-G Weightless Flights and the X PRIZE Foundation have blazed the trail of space tourism," she said. "Others are playing catch-up, but it's gratifying to witness this new government focus, though it was anticipated long ago."
Zero Gravity Corporation, or ZERO-G (GoZeroG.com), is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company making the adventure of space accessible to the public through providing weightless flights. The X PRIZE Foundation (Xprize.org) provided the financial reward and motivation for the first non-government human spaceflight.
"Gloria Bohan is a travel industry innovator who has been actively involved in the space tourism movement for the past decade," said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman & CEO of X Prize and ZERO-G. "I first met her at a 1997 NASA workshop when she gave a keynote speech on the future of space travel. Her ability to connect the traditional tourism field with space travel is very unique."
In a recent Travel Agent Magazine cover story about commercial passenger space travel, Space Tourism Society founder John Spencer noted, "When Gloria [Bohan] got involved, it was a transitional moment for the early space tourism movement, because she was from a profession outside of the space industry. Her credibility and voice added to the potential."
Bohan said in the same December, 2005 article that the burgeoning field must gain momentum with travel agents at the grassroots level. "It is going to take creativity on the part of the agent," she said. "There is a wealth of interesting people out there, [flight] museums, and [space] centers…that agents should get to know as a unique kind of product. It's definitely a new opportunity, but it's going to take work."
Along with offering customized travel solutions to businesses all over the world, Gloria Bohan's organization Omega World Travel (OmegaTravel.com) books ZERO-G Weightless Flights and other unique adventure travel experiences.
"For everyone devoted to the travel field, there is no way to escape the excitement of the future of space tourism," Bohan said. "Continuing to take the right steps to space will ensure that this ultimate travel experience becomes a reality."
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About Omega World Travel
Omega World Travel is a woman-owned, diversity supplier, and one of the largest travel management companies in the US. With worldwide headquarters in Fairfax, VA, Omega serves corporate, government, meeting, and leisure clients throughout the US., Europe, and the Middle East. Omega World Travel also owns Cruise.com, one of the largest sellers of cruises on the Internet, and TravTech, a software development company and Omega Meetings and Conference services.