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Electronic Systems and Offsite Touristic Activities Based on Geological Concepts: A Speculative Discussion
* 1 , 2 , 3
1  LandS/Lab2PT-Landscapes, Heritage and Territory Laboratory (FCT-UIDB/04509/2020) and Earth Sciences Department/School of Sciences, University of Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal;
2  CERENA—Centro de Recursos Naturais e Ambiente, FCT-UIDB/04028/2020, DEcivil, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
3  Instituto Universitario de Xeoloxía “Isidro Parga Pondal”, University of A Coruña, 915001 A Coruña, Spain


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused havoc in many economic areas such as those related to tourism. This creates the need for alternative activities in this sector, especially given that it is not clear when will end the present emergency and there could new situations of this kind. We consider here two main possibilities (virtual models and remote observations) for tourism related to geological objects (including those used by humans) and processes. These approaches could help to promote remote-operated tourism in other celestial bodies, helping to promote this kind of enterprise. These activities could be prepared with variable connection to education (for publics with diverse age ranges), prompting their use at any time of the year (hence minimizing the issue of seasonality). Our discussion suggests that remote observations will be the most interesting option since they could potentially give the users an unlimited diversity of experiences, it might give higher return to local communities (but also higher loads on local environments) and they could find additional value in other geological applications. While our analysis is certainly very speculative at present, it can be submitted to falsification by the financial results.

Keywords: geological systems; virtual objects; remote operations; education; built environment; celestial bodies; SpaceX; COVID-19