Virgin Hyperloop could propel future tourism connectivity

The concept of Hyperloop transportation holds the potential to rapidly accelerate tourism connectivity in the UK. Aiming for travel speeds of more than 1,000km/h, the potential speed of Virgin Hyperloop could, in theory, enable travelers to dart between Gatwick and Heathrow airports, 45 miles apart on opposite sides of London, in four minutes. Furthermore, if globally adopted, Virgin Hyperloop would dramatically alter connectivity for all types of traveler, from domestic leisure to international business, however, the project would need to overcome barriers related to planning permission and construction, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ralph Hollister, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The Hyperloop’s projected transportation times would create a more globalized and connected society than ever before – increasing global tourism with it. The connectivity that this transport could offer has the potential to take domestic and international tourism arrivals to new levels in the future.”

Virgin Hyperloop’s focus is to build a faster, cheaper and greener type of transport. According to a survey by GlobalData, 56% of global respondents are ‘often’ or ‘always’ influenced by how well a service aligns with time and money constraints, while 43% of global respondents are ‘often’ or ‘always’ influenced by how ethical/environmentally-friendly/socially responsible a service is. From an environmental perspective, Hyperloops are powered electrically and do not release negative environmental emissions when in motion. From this perspective alone, it is already a much cleaner form of transportation compared to cars, coaches, trains and planes.

Hollister adds: “Satisfying a range of different safety, regulatory and other stakeholder requirements is one of the biggest barriers that could mean the wide-scale adoption of this transport may not be seen in the short-term. For example, to achieve global adoption, Hyperloop systems would have to undergo the incredibly hard task of receiving planning permissions in different global regions. The concept of constructing extensive networks of tubes in potentially already developed areas would create an array of issues that many governments could deem to be more trouble than it is worth.

“However, there could be individual examples of adoption. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) looks to be an early adopter of this transport. Gradually moving away from oil, the nation seeks to diversify its economy by promoting new technologies and it could use the adoption of this transport as a chance to trademark itself as a technologically progressive nation. Hyperloop technology and the UAE could act as a key partnership in kick-starting this new evolution of transport.”

*Data taken from GlobalData’s Week 9 COVID-19 Recovery Survey, 7-11 October

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