2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia

Travel for trade was a vital feature for the reason that starting of civilisation. The port at Lothal was a vital centre of trade between the Indus valley civilisation and the Sumerian civilisation.

600 BC and thereafter

The earliest type of leisure tourism will be traced way back to the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of historic antiquities was open to the general public in Babylon. The Egyptians held many spiritual festivals that attracted the devout and plenty of individuals who thronged to cities to see famous works of arts and buildings.

In India, as elsewhere, kings travelled for empire constructing. The Brahmins and the common people travelled for religious purposes. Thousands of Brahmins and the common folk thronged Sarnath and Sravasti to be greeted by the inscrutable smile of the Enlightened One- the Buddha.

500 BC, the Greek civilisation

The Greek tourists travelled to sites of healing gods. The Greeks also enjoyed their religious festivals that increasingly became a pursuit of delight, and specifically, sport. Athens had grow to be a vital site for travellers visiting the foremost sights corresponding to the Parthenon. Inns were established in large towns and seaports to offer for travellers’ needs. Courtesans were the principal entertainment offered.


This era also saw the birth of travel writing. Herodotus was the worlds’ first travel author. Guidebooks also made their appearance within the fourth century covering destinations corresponding to Athens, Sparta and Troy. Advertisements in the best way of signs directing people to inns are also known in this era.

The Roman Empire

With no foreign borders between England and Syria, and with protected seas from piracy because of Roman patrols, the conditions favouring travel had arrived. First class roads coupled with staging inns (precursors of recent motels) promoted the expansion of travel. Romans travelled to Sicily, Greece, Rhodes, Troy and Egypt. From 300 AD travel to the Holy Land also became extremely popular. The Romans introduced their guidebooks (itineraria), listing hotels with symbols to discover quality.

Second homes were built by the wealthy near Rome, occupied primarily during springtime social season. The most trendy resorts were found around Bay of Naples. Naples attracted the retired and the intellectuals, Cumae attracted the fashionable while Baiae attracted the down market tourist, becoming noted for its rowdiness, drunkenness and all- night singing.

Travel and Tourism were to never attain an analogous status until the fashionable times.

In the Middle Ages

Travel became difficult and dangerous as people travelled for business or for a way of obligation and duty.

Adventurers sought fame and fortune through travel. The Europeans tried to find a sea path to India for trade purposes and on this fashion discovered America and explored parts of Africa. Strolling players and minstrels made their living by performing as they travelled. Missionaries, saints, etc. travelled to spread the sacred word.

Leisure travel in India was introduced by the Mughals. The Mughal kings built luxurious palaces and enchanting gardens at places of natural and scenic beauty (for instance Jehangir travelled to Kashmir drawn by its beauty.

Travel for empire constructing and pilgrimage was an everyday feature.

The Grand Tour

From the early seventeenth century, a recent type of tourism was developed as a direct consequence of the Renaissance. Under the reign of Elizabeth 1, young men in search of positions at court were encouraged to travel to continent to complete their education. Later, it became customary for education of gentleman to be accomplished by a ‘Grand Tour’ accompanied by a tutor and lasting for 3 or more years. While ostensibly educational, the pleasure in search of men travelled to enjoy life and culture of Paris, Venice or Florence. By the tip of eighteenth century, the custom had grow to be institutionalised within the gentry. Gradually pleasure travel displaced educational travel. The advent of Napoleonic wars inhibited travel for around 30 years and led to the decline of the custom of the Grand Tour.

The development of the spas

The spas grew in popularity within the seventeenth century in Britain and somewhat later within the European Continent as awareness concerning the therapeutic qualities of mineral water increased. Taking the cure within the spa rapidly acquired the character of a standing symbol. The resorts modified in character as pleasure became the motivation of visits. They became a vital centre of social life for the high society.

In the nineteenth century they were steadily replaced by the seaside resort.

The sun, sand and sea resorts

The sea water became related to health advantages. The earliest visitors due to this fact drank it and didn’t bathe in it. By the early eighteenth century, small fishing resorts sprung up in England for visitors who drank and immersed themselves in sea water. With the overcrowding of inland spas, the brand new sea side resorts grew in popularity. The introduction of steamboat services in nineteenth century introduced more resorts within the circuit. The seaside resort steadily became a social meeting point

 Role of the commercial revolution in promoting travel within the west

 The rapid urbanisation because of industrialisation led to mass immigration in cities. These people were lured into travel to flee their environment to places of natural beauty, often to the countryside that they had come from change of routine from a physically and psychologically stressful jobs to a leisurely pace in countryside.

Highlights of travel within the nineteenth century 

·        Advent of railway initially catalysed business travel and later leisure travel. Gradually special trains were chartered to only take leisure travel to their destinations.

·        Package tours organised by entrepreneurs corresponding to Thomas Cook.

·        The European countries indulged in a number of business travel often to their colonies to purchase raw material and sell finished goods.

·        The invention of photography acted as a status-enhancing tool and promoted overseas travel.

·        The formation of first hotel chains; pioneered by the railway corporations who established great railway terminus hotels.

·        Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers, elite, for gambling.

·        Other forms of destinations-ski resorts, hill stations, mountaineering spots etc.

·        The technological development in steamships promoted travel between North America and Europe.

·        The Suez Canal opened direct sea routes to India and the Far East.

·        The cult of the guidebook followed the event of photography.



Tourism within the Twentieth Century


The First World War gave first hand experience of nations and aroused a way of curiosity about international travel amongst less well off sector for the primary time. The large scale of migration to the US meant a number of travel across the Atlantic. Private motoring began to encourage domestic travel in Europe and the west.  The sea side resort became annual family holiday destination in Britain and increased in popularity in other countries of the west. Hotels proliferated in these destinations.

The birth of air travel and after

The wars increased interest in international travel. This interest was given the form of mass tourism by the aviation industry. The surplus of aircraft and growth of personal airlines aided the expansion of air travel. The aircraft had grow to be comfortable, faster and steadily cheaper for overseas travel. With the introduction of Boeing 707 jet in 1958, the age of air travel for the masses had arrived. The starting of chartered flights boosted the package tour market and led to the establishment of organised mass tourism. The Boeing 747, a 400 seat craft, brought the price of travel down sharply. The seaside resorts within the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Caribbean were the initial hot spots of mass tourism.

A corresponding growth in hotel industry led to the establishment of world-wide chains. Tourism also began to diversify as people began to flock alternative destinations within the 70s. Nepal and India received a throng of tourists lured by Hare Krishna movement and transcendental meditation. The starting of individual travel in a big volume only occurred within the 80s. Air travel also led to a continuous growth in business travel especially with the emergence of the MNCs.


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