Space tourism becoming increasingly important for South Kerry

Published on : Sunday, August 13, 2017

Space tourismA group of 25 members of the International Space University, from 18 different countries visited the Kerry International Dark Sky Reserve for touring the area and for getting a closer look at the Dark Sky Reserve with plans for enhancing it for locals and visitors alike.

The International Space University based in Strasbourg, develops the future leaders of the world space community by providing educational programs for students and space professionals in an international, inter cultural environment.

The University group members are visiting Ireland for the first time this year. The Cork Institute of Technology and CIT’s Blackrock Castle Observatory are playing host to the ISU’s 17th International Space Studies Program (SSP) until August 25.

The Kerry Dark Sky Reserve stretching roughly from Glenbeigh to Castlecove, is the only gold standard reserve in the northern hemisphere with unmatched views of the night sky with little or no light pollution. Developing tourism in the reserve zone has been identified as a key economic priority. Astro-tourism in Dark Sky Reserve is worth millions to the local economy.

Astro-tourism is especially attractive because not only it would boost visitor numbers in the summer season but also in the off peak winter months which, with their longer nights, are more advantageous for star gazing.

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