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Get ready for the next big eclipse tourism rush

August 23, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

With Americans ecstatic about the total solar eclipse that just passed over parts of the continental US, tour operators and eclipse fanciers are gearing up for the next big one.

Partial eclipses don’t count – they have to be total. The next total eclipse of the sun is scheduled for 2 July 2019 and the favoured part of the world is South America. Chile and Argentina are the places to be, or Pitcairn Island.

Chile and Argentina can expect big bookings after the unprecedented publicity generated by this week’s US event.

Oasis of the Seas

The eclipse elite are said to be planning to sail in super yachts to Oeno island in the Pitcairn group, the perfect viewing spot for the 2019 event. The Tuamoto Archipelago east of Tahiti will be another prime place. Anaa, Fakarava, Hao, and Makemo are the main islands there. They are not exactly on the regular tourist beat.

Big cruise lines operating out of Miami may find the 2019 event a little remote. This week’s eclipse was perfect for them, even outside the area of totality (when the dark silhouette of the moon completely obscures the intensely bright light of the sun).

Oasis of the Seas departed Port Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday morning on a seven-night Total Eclipse Cruise. Royal Caribbean promised guests “extraordinary partial views” of the solar eclipse – but the real knockout was Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, 66, performing “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” backed by the electro-pop band DNCE. It all happened as the moon moved perfectly on cue between our planet and the sun.

“Once upon a time there was light in my life, but now there’s only love in the dark,” the lyrics go.

According to TIME magazine, after an earlier solar eclipse in March 2016, the music streaming service Spotify registered a 75% increase in plays of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

Meanwhile, good news! In a boom for Aussie domestic tourism, a total eclipse is on the way to Australia – and it will pass right over Sydney. The bad news is that it won’t happen until 22 July 2028, which is a long wait. Australia and New Zealand will be the best places to view it. Australia will experience eight total solar eclipses over the next 100 years.

According to astronomers, here are the next five total solar eclipses happening over populated parts of the world, and where the path of totality will pass:

  • 2 July 2019: Chile and Argentina, Pitcairn Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago
  • 14 December 2020: Chile and Argentina, Kiribati
  • 8 April 2024: Mexico, US, Canada
  • 12 August 2026: Greenland, Iceland, Spain
  • 2 August 2027: North Africa and Middle East

As with all eclipses, the weather is in the hands of the gods. You have to be lucky!

Written by Peter Needham

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