Don’t beam me up: Scots pass on a chance to travel to space with Virgin Galactic


THE only travel agent in Scotland selling tickets for Sir Richard Branson’s space tours has admitted he hasn’t sold a single ticket in two years.

Dream Escape, who bagged exclusive seller rights in February 2011, has failed to secure buyers for the trips which cost £130,000 each.

Across the globe nearly 600 people have signed up to the Virgin Galactic tours to be some of the first civilians to travel to the edge of space and look down on the Earth.

Space Travel


But the Edinburgh-based travel agents said safety-conscious Scots seem to be wary of the travel and are waiting to judge the success of the first flight.

David Tobin, owner of Dream Escape, said: “Maybe it’s a Scottish thing.

“When you put Scotland alongside America, there’s obviously a huge number of people [in America] who will get into the Disney-esque aspect of it and will put their money down.

“The Scots are very keen to see something in the air before they part with quite a decent amount of money.

“There are a lot of people who have requested information, but a lot of people are sitting with that information waiting to see it happen.”

Passengers on the Galactic getaways will travel on 60ft long rockets to an altitude beyond 62 miles in altitude – the internationally accepted boundary of outer space.

Each person is said to have two windows on the trip where they can also experience six minutes of weightlessness.

Exclusive business club class also includes a pass to astronaut forums with Sir Richard on either his Caribbean island home or South African game reserve to tours of the planes under development.

But Mr Tobin – Scotland’s only Accredited Space Agent (ASA) – said the most interest has been from wealthy aeronautical enthusiasts in East Lothian but admitted he is still waiting on securing his first deposit.

He added: “It’s a big commuter belt for successful people who want to get out of the city.



 “The sort of people that we’ve got calls from in East Lothian, they are more than likely in their 40s and have done very well commercially, some of whom have retired already.

“We’d had a disproportionate amount of pilots just because obviously it’s in their blood. They’re very keen to get involved.

“Across the board, a lot of them are entrepreneurs who are almost looking to take the next step and do something new and different.

“But increasingly, I do know a lot of people have signed up because ultimately you’re rubbing shoulders with some of the most interesting and gregarious people in the world.”

Fellow Scot Dave McKay, Chief Virgin Galactic pilot, is also in the running to pilot the first flight to space.

Monday has been billed as a potential first powered test flight for Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane. Passengers may be able to take flights aboard the six-seater spacecraft as early as next year.