BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – After two years of breaking records for tourism revenue, Brevard County’s tourism director says that like Artemis I, the first SLS astronaut mission will likely attract hundreds of thousands to watch the launch.
Executive Director Peter Cranis of the Space Coast Office of Tourism said that by the time Artemis II lifts off in 2024, he hopes the county will be looking at three years of record tourism dollars.
“We’re very pumped around this area whenever we hear of these major launches,” Cranis said.
Since Artemis I last fall, Port Canaveral is now first in the number of cruise passengers, surpassing Miami as the busiest cruise port in the world.
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The tourism boom is also attracting guests to Space Shirts near Kennedy Space Center where on the same day NASA announced the crew that will fly around the moon, Rosie Ahumada from Los Angeles was hoping for Artemis merchandise.
“The people are very friendly,” the tourist said of her favorite thing about the Space Coast.
Ivan Davis said he took his Michigan family to see a SpaceX launch while visiting. He added that they’d be happy to come back to Cocoa Beach for Artemis II.
“Yeah, we would enjoy that,” he said.
Cranis said there’s a variety of reasons that tourists are choosing Brevard County.
“Lots of good things happening around this area,” he said. “It’s just super exciting, and we’re ready to go back to the moon.”
If returning to the moon with a crew requires multiple launch attempts — like Artemis I did — the county will expect an even greater economic impact.
Cranis said that the average tourist spending a night for a launch spends around $350.
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