Who wouldn’t want a lovely lounge on a tropical beach to go with their excursion to the edge of outer space? Maybe that’s what Hawaiian lawmakers had in the back of their minds when they passed a bill to turn Hawaii into a major player in space tourism last week.

According to a press release, under the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) will create an office for the development of space exploration activities. Also, the Center will creat a lunar base simulation on the Big Island, as well as develop support technology and astronaut training.

“Oahu is an attractive location for space flights because it is a tourist destination,” said Charles Lauer, vice president for business at Rocketplace Kistler, which will be using Hawaii as its space tourism base.

“We can be a major player in space activities,” said Jim Crisafulli, a research and development cooridinator for DBEDT, “but we need to be proactive.”

So, it looks like Hawaii is becoming a genre-travel hot spot. LOST is shot there (by the way, did you read my post about the LOST Fan Party I’ll be attending March 31?); soon it will be a center of space tourism; and its always had a rich, mythological heritage that is appealing to fantasy afficioandos. Have I missed anything? Please post your knowledge as a comment.