Aerospace Daily 29 Jun 1999, article 134006 (cited on usenet).
Synopsis: (I urge folks to get the Aerospace Daily article and read it in its entirety).
Space tourism can become a multi-billion dollar market, based upon research by DaimlerChrysler Aerospace (DASA), if tickets can be reduced to prices in the $50-400 K price range. DASA recognizes good market data on this market is scarse, based upon an interview with Hartmut Mueller, who is heading a study group at DASA. The study group's data indicates if ticket prices were $50 K, then a potential market of 2- 7 M passengers per year are possible, but if it were more than $400K, the market would drop to "tens of thousands" per year. DASA assumes a space hotel and at least a 24 hour stay on orbit for passengers. Using $280 K per ticket, DASA estimates 20 K passengers per year, with a total market of $5.6 B per year. DASA cautioned market projections in this area are very unreliable if made more than 2 years in advance, and their data is based upon 1999 data. This data was presented at a Space Transportation Association conference on space tourism last week in Washington.
To validate their data, the DASA team compared the projected $280 K price with other high-priced luxury purchases to test its reasonableness. Approximately 4,000 people annually spend $250,000 or more for a car, and there is a multi-million person market for cruises costing up to $50,000.