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Virgin Galactic appoints first European Travel agents

Published by Rob on Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:51 pm
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NEW YORK, NY (13th June, 2007).

Today Virgin Galactic announces the names of the eight travel companies who will train to become “Accredited Space Agents” – the first agents in Europe allowed to reserve seats aboard Virgin Galactic’s suborbital space flights. The new Accredited Space Agents are: -

BRU & BRU Exclusive Travel Designer, Spain
CAMINHO DAS ESTRELAS, SA, Portugal
Deluxe Travel, Austria
DESIGNREISEN, Germany
EXTRAVAGANT TRAVEL, Greece & Cyprus
TYP Agency, Czech Republic
Voyageurs du Monde, France
Your Private Italy, Italy

Virgin Galactic began their quest for European travel agents at the International Luxury Travel Market in Cannes during December 2006. Here initial meetings were held with 45 would be Accredited Space Agents. These agents were shortlisted to 20, each submitting a comprehensive proposal to Virgin Galactic detailing why they felt their company had what it takes to sell space travel in their local markets. The successful eight were advised of their appointments late last week.

Carolyn Wincer, Head of Astronaut Sales for Virgin Galactic, said: “Travel agents play an important part in Virgin Galactic’s distribution process. A good travel agent is a trusted advisor on travel experiences to their clients so when we decided to take our experience to the European market, we sought only the best travel agents to sell our suborbital spaceflights. The eight agencies we have chosen know how deliver outstanding levels of service when selling unique travel experiences and we have every confidence they will take very good care of our future astronauts.”

Consultants representing each agency will travel to the International Space University in Strasbourg in early-July where they will be given comprehensive training on the Virgin Galactic product, including an overview of spaceflight technology, G-forces, weightlessness and details on the entire 3-day Virgin Galactic Experience. At the end of this training the consultants will formally become ‘Accredited Space Agents”, able to sell tickets on the sub-orbital spaceflights, currently expected to launch during 2009.

To date, the world has seen fewer than 500 astronauts, but with the launch of Virgin Galactic spaceflights that will soon change. Together with Virgin Galactic, the “Accredited Space Agents” are poised to turn the dream of going to space into a reality for their clients all over Europe. The once-in-a-lifetime experience includes Astronaut training, ‘G force’ acclimatization and a sensational spaceflight lasting over two hours. At US$200,000 per ticket, Virgin Galactic’s flights are a mere fraction of the $20 million price tag associated
with the space trips taken by a mere handful of individuals who have trained for six months to join the Russian government space programme. And while Virgin Galactic’s technology makes space travel more attainable for the general public, it takes a talented and skilled travel consultant to sell a trip to space.

Please feel free to discuss this topic further in the forums…

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