What hardly seemed real just a few years ago, might completely change the vacation concept in the future, in an environment-friendly way. Planet Ocean Underwater Hotels - the name speaks for itself - has a real business plan to make this possible.
In late April, the company has publicly announced its intention to cooperate with hotel businesses. The goal of the potential partnership would be the launch of the world’s first underwater luxury hotel. Sounds almost too futuristic, but Planet Ocean actually sent its detailed business plan to the U.S. State and Treasury departments. The company’s founder Tony Webb is looking to get the permission to operate in Cuban waters.
He and his colleagues have already picked suitable locations not only for the hotels but also for a reef restoration mission. The 15 places are spread throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean. According to the plans, hotels will be built 30 feet below sea level, offering wonderful views of the underwater life from windows. What about the benefits for the environment? Planet Ocean says it will spend 5 percent of the total cost and 10 percent of guest room proceeds to help protect the undersea ecosystem and coral reefs.
What’s interesting, Tony Webb and his partners came up with an idea of a space tourism model at first. They actually spent more than ten years working on the model, but abandoned the plans in 2013 and moved on to the sea world. He received a patent for his new idea in 2015. According to it, the hotel would be a modular vessel with 12 movable rooms to protect people from potential cataclysms.
If the goal is accomplished, the rooms will have king-size beds, bathrooms, the Internet and, of course, huge windows. An elevator will link the surface to the hotel.
Webb says he has years of experience in construction and knows how to overcome technical challenges that the project faces. He plans to use steel and acrylic to make sure the hotel will not collapse during storms and hurricanes. Should nature be particularly harsh, the movable building will simply float to the surface and wait it out. Webb says ‘his top secret ballast control system’ will make this possible.
Sounds great, and about as expensive as one might think. Yet the costs of the hotel do not seem that bad. Planet Ocean is selling 15 locations for $3 million each, compared to a previously proposed plan with estimated costs of above $200 million. Webb is sure the idea will attract hotel industry investors.
An underwater city in popular video game series Bioshock
He also says that reasonable room rates will attract a steady flow of guests. According to the plan, submitted to Treasury, a room for two guests will cost $2,500. That’s significantly cheaper that the initially suggested $3,000 to $6,000 rate. That’s like a drop in the ocean when compared to some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
‘People will find our rates to be very reasonable’, Webb says. He says hotel prices can go up to $86,000 per night. Besides, compared to his previous space tourism concept, the underwater rates are a real steal. ‘In my 13 years of dedicated space tourism, the space flight costs 50 times higher. And there will be no sex in space’, Webb says.
That’s why he is so sure, that once the project is funded, keeping the rooms occupied will be easy. Thousands of people have commented on his idea, ‘millions of people would love to spend the night in our hotel’, he says. ‘I am sure that after we start to accept reservations, the rooms will be sold out in the first week’.