Letter to the Editor

I read "Space Travel: Reality by 2009" (Travel Agent, March 12, 2007) with interest, as the opportunity to pioneer a new industry and elevate the role of travel agent to that of "Life Experience Coach" is a passion for Virtuoso.

To clarify Virtuoso's arrangement with Virgin Galactic, 47 consultants will help build the space tourism market. However, all Virtuoso members can sell Virgin Galactic flights in cooperation with an Accredited Space Agent (ASA). The ASAs underwent an extensive application process to receive accreditation, which was open to all members. Virgin Galactic conducted a blind review of 117 applications, leading to 75 interviews. Ultimately, 47 consultants demonstrated the enthusiasm, sales skills and drive to ensure the program's success.

As consumer demand grows, more consultants can apply. And while it may seem exclusionary, selling commercial space tourism requires comprehensive product knowledge. The approach taken ensures proper training that is difficult to share with a larger group.

Misty Ewing Director, Public Relations Virtuoso