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Astronaut Brian Binnie confirmed as Speaker for Orion Congress in Dubai

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Mr Brian Binnie, the test pilot of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipOne has been confirmed as a keynote speaker at the 5th Annual Orion Congress to be held at Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai on Saturday 11 October 2008. The one-day Congress which is predictive in nature, will focus on a theme  What’s Next? Innovation in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Binnie, whose visit is sponsored by Spectrum International Hospitality Services, will showcase his experiences as the test pilot of SpaceShipOne, alongside academics and senior industry officials at the congress. Keynote speeches will be complemented by interactive panel discussions structured around the key topic, with audience participation in question and answer sessions.

The Ansari X-Prize was one of the major catalysts in the development of commercial space travel. Inspired by aviation prizes of the past, X-Prize founder, Peter Diamondis raised a US $10 Million prize for the first commercial enterprise to travel into space in a privately funded reusable spacecraft, twice within a two week period.

SpaceShipOne, the prototype for Virgin Galactic’s new spaceships, won the Ansari X-Prize on October 4th, 2004. The Prize was accepted by Burt Rutan (Scaled Composites) and Paul Allen who funded its original development.

SpaceShipOne was piloted into space three times, twice by Mike Melville and the third time by Brian Binnie to claim the Ansari X-Prize. Binnie made history when he reached a record 368,000 feet on that final X-Prize flight and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic was born.

“We are delighted that Brian Binnie has confirmed. His presentation is a perfect fit with the congress theme which will explore what new ideas are shaping, informing, changing and driving the 2020 agenda for tourism,” said Mr Adam Sargeant, Regional Manager, Orion Hotel Schools.

The event is open to all tourism professionals (US$390 per person) and students (US$200 per full-time student). The Congress delegate rate includes:

* Registration (09:00 – 09:45) 
* Attendance at the Full-day Congress (10:00 – 17:30)
* Morning and Afternoon tea Networking Sessions
* Lunch at Saffron Restaurant, Atlantis, The Palm
* Congress Kit including a copy of the current issue of Orion Observatory – Journal of Hotel Management “21st Century Guest Expectations: The Mint on the Pillow will not be enough!” 
* Post-Congress all delegates will receive a copy of the new issue of Orion Observatory which contains the findings and conclusions from the Congress

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Aviation, Flights, HotelsPromotions, New Hotels, Dubai, Virgin Galactic

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