It has been over a week since the news of the OceanGate submarine implosion and it has shed significant light on the niche of extreme tourism. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it certainly doesn’t seem budget-friendly. So, how is it still unaffected by the recent news?
Virgin Galactic, an opportunity for space tourism, is set to launch its first private astronaut mission in early August, after which, monthly spaceflights are expected to follow. This clearly indicates that extreme tourism is still drawing interest. This is likely because the people who thrive on the adrenaline that comes from extreme tourism, are already aware of the danger that comes with it, and still choose to do it, which is what makes this a niche, otherwise, everyone would do it.
Research shows that the demographic for these activities is billionaires in their fifties or sixties, looking for extreme adventures. There are a lot of reasons behind this fascination with extreme tourism. The biggest one is ego. Everyone has stories these days, about things they did, items they purchased. Luxury products are available to the masses now, and everyone wants to have a better story at the dinner table. This is why entrepreneurs with a high tolerance for risk are looking for activities that not everyone has done.
It is also a way to push their physical limits in the face of mortal danger. How far can one go? How deep can one reach? The adrenaline that these adventures give is more fruitful than the danger and risk they come with.
Even though the recent news of the submarine highlighted the reality that exploring these adventures also means dicing with death, it doesn’t affect the ones with the desire because therein lies the appeal.
The industry is highly resilient and very unaffected because it requires very few people to make it economically viable and rewarding. It is a niche market, but there are a lot of people with a lot of money in this world to keep it going.