What is space tourism?
Space tourism is a very new phenomenon in which people pay to be able to go into space. There are very limited opportunities for space tourism at this point but many companies are trying to get to the point where they will be able to offer some form of space tourism.
Some of the more publicized incidents of space tourism recently have involved very rich people who have paid (only in Russia, I think) to be allowed to go up in a nation's space launches.
However, various companies are trying to create technologies that allow them to get people into low space orbits and return for relatively small amounts of money. A good example of this is Virgin Galactic, for which I've included a link.
Space tourism refers to the access being given to individuals, who belong to the general public and are not part of any governmental space agency to fly to outer space and spend time in space stations.
Nations around the World like the USA, Russia and the Europe Union contribute to operating space stations which help study the effects of life in outer space on humans and to conduct other experiments which cannot be performed on the Earth.
They were off-limits to those who were not professional astronomers for a long time. But in the recent past with people showing an interest and willing to pay for the tours, the space stations have started to allow what is being called " space tourism ."
The first space tourist was the American businessman named Dennis Tito who spent over a week at the International Space Station. The facility to make paid trips to outer space is offered currently only by Russia and it costs between $20 - 30 million.
Space tourism is tourism in which participants pay for flights into space. As of 2010, orbital space tourism opportunities are limited and expensive, with only the Russian Space Agency providing transport. The price for a flight brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft is US$ 20–35 million. The space tourists usually sign contracts with third parties to conduct certain research while in orbit. This helps to minimize their own expenses