Accepted paper:

An anthropological approach to space tourism


Hiroki Okada (Kobe University)

Paper short abstract:

The purpose of this study is to consider space tour from the viewpoint of anthropological study of tourism. I would like to point out the problem of space tourism that, as the space was industrialized, we could not assure the new ideas about world and "new possibility for human culture".

Paper long abstract:

This presentation examines the space trips from the view point of "tourism anthropology", a sub-field of cultural anthropology. One difference of the private space trip from the national or scientific projects is that it is inseparable from the tourism industry. The advertisement of the space trip uses the same phrases as the "exploration tours" to the Amazon rainforest or Antarctica. The phenomenon of the tourism today is closely related to the globalization. The exploration to Amazon or Antarctica by the ordinary tourists has been enabled by the development of the transportation and communication technologies, namely the products of the globalization. It shows that the space trip is considered as the same type as or the extension of the sight-seeing tours on the ground, and hence "space tourism". We may reasonably consider the space tour as to be one extended of these exploration tours. It will be a tool that provides "old experience" that is projection of the image on the ground. This invokes another serious problem. When people just consume the place called "space", the industrial system which supports it may develop, but perhaps we cannot expect the other possibilities of space activities or scientific results. In the so-called "exploration tours", the tourists just reproduce their own image, ignoring the knowledge brought by the exploration or the reality in the destination.

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Challenges of space anthropology