Three telecommunications entrepreneurs from Texas have joined with Space Adventures Ltd., the company that sent the first paying passengers to the International Space Station, to develop passenger spacecraft for suborbital flights.
The vehicles would be designed by a Russian company, and the first ships could be ready before 2008, said one of the entrepreneurs, Hamid Ansari, who with his wife, Ansousheh, and brother, Amir, helped finance the Ansari X Prize competition — the one that resulted in the first private flight to the edge of space, in 2004.(link)
So the Ansari's are going to compete against Sir Richard Branson. We have two companies... I guess that counts as competition in a so far non-existent sub-orbital space tourism industry.
In all this apparently Branson's got 157 clients lined up. Not bad considering they're selling tickets at $200,000 a pop. The original idea was to sell it at half that price. And I highly suspect that once this other venture gets it's wheels turning that $200G price tag will drop like... something that drops fast...
Anyhoo, we got two "surefire" bets for competitors for future space tourists. "Surefire" meaning we have two groups funded by millionaires that have more money then they know what to do with and that are probably crazy enough to fund these little projects to conclusion.
Hurrah for space nutsos like me everywhere!