Sustainability dimensions in space tourism: the case of Finland

Annette Toivonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The current emergence of a new space economy is leading to the exploration of outer space towards unforeseen futures. Space tourism is a new addition to the tourism industry, prompted in large part by adventure-seeking individualism and potentially lucrative private business prospects. However, in light of the current megatrend of environmentalism, different space tourism activities are facing climate change-related challenges to convince the greater public of their necessity, especially as the high cost involved for suborbital space travel limits it to a niche adventure activity for the wealthy. This article explores the views held by the Finnish populace in relation to space tourism and sustainability through an empirical study. The data are derived from two surveys: the first gathering Finnish public opinion on space tourism’s sustainability with the use of principal component analysis; the second utilising a professional Delphi panel for qualitative explanations. The findings, analysed using grounded theory, can be compressed into four dimensions – “virtual travel”, “comparative fairness”, “technological innovations” and “ecopolitics” – through which actions towards sustainability in space tourism might be enhanced in different national planning strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jul 2020
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Delphi method
  • new space economy
  • Space tourism
  • sustainable tourism development
  • virtual travel

Field of science

  • Tourism research

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