Saturday, July 30, 2011

ഹിസ്റ്ററി ഓഫ് tourism


In the history of mankind, the first and foremost activity that man undertook was searching for food. 'Food Gatherers' can be treated as the first ‘travelers’. Since than the urge to engage in travel has been growing and today travel has grown into a large, diverse industry with lot of social cultural and Economic dimensions.

Food gathering stage was followed by food production and then settlement on the river banks. Once man had settled down, he began to conquer the world.

'Trade' became an important reason in the growth of Travel.

One of the greatest milestones in the history of tourism is the invention of wheel. It improved the speed of travel and men could cover more distances, which stimulated travel. The increasing trend in travel necessitated having stay and thus the 'Inns' emerged. They provided fresh horses, and lodgings were available for rent to visitors when they arrived at their destination. It was the sign of beginning of an industry, which was later called as tourism.

History provides glimpses of tourism activities held in the ancient period. The earliest forms of leisure tourism can be traced back to the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. Invention of money by Sumerians (Babylonia) during 4000 BC and the usage of it in business transactions helped the travel to grow. Phoenicians were probably the first real business travelers. A museum of “historic antiquities” was open to the public in the sixth century BC in Babylon, while the Egyptians held many religious festivals attracting not only the devout, but many who came to see the famous buildings and works of art in the cities. The local towns accommodated tourists by providing services such as: vendors of food and drink, guides, hawkers of souvenirs and touts.

Oceans were a great mystery for man. Huge sailboats and sailing ships were built. The curiosity to experience the outside world really initiated travel among men. In ancient Greece, people traveled to see the Olympic Games begun in 776BC. Greek tourists, during third century BC, traveled to visit the ‘healing gods’. Because the independent city-states of ancient Greece had no central authority to order the construction of roads, most of these tourists traveled by water, hence many seaports were built. The lighthouse of Alexandria was considered one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world. Guidebooks became available as early as the fourth century BC, covering a vast area of destinations, i.e. Athens, Sparta and Troy. Advertisements, in the form of signs directing visitors to wayside inns, are also known from this period.

In Mediterranean, travel for trade and commerce, religion purposes, medical treatment or education was developed at an early stage.

In fact the emergence of the Roman Empire put an unforgettable mark in the history of tourism. They give importance to international travel. Domestic tourism also flourished within the Roman Empire. The tourism as a pleasure activity emerged during then. Romans created excellent network of Roads, transportation and communication system to manage the vast empire, which helped 'travel' also. Romans traveled to Sicily, Greece, Rhodes, and Troy, Egypt and from the third century AD, to the Holy Land - Jerusalem. Romans even traveled to outside world especially to Egypt and Greece and Asia Minor, which were popular destinations. When Alexander the Great during his journeys reached India; he found well-maintained roads covered with shady trees. Along one royal highway, 1,920 kilometers long and about 19 meters wide, people traveled in chariots, palan­quins, bullock carts, on horses, camels and elephants.

The downfall of Roman Empire brought a set back to tourism development and for several centuries (between 5th & 15th century AD) tourism has experienced sluggish growth and was referred as dark stage of tourism.

Religion as a Motivator

Travel for religious purposes assumed a significant impor­tance during the middle Ages. The practice of traveling for reli­gious reasons, going on a pilgrimage for example, became a well established custom in many parts of the world. By the end of the middle-ages large numbers of pilgrims were traveling to the main shrines in Europe, and travel again assumed an interest­ing character. However, travel was still dominated by religious motivations. Very little actual pleasure travel was undertaken. The adoption and spread of Christianity subsequently led to numerous pilgrims making their way to the Holy land. So deep and strong was the hold of faith that the ritual of pilgrimage flourished over the centuries. Pilgrimage was a major religious activity in India also. According to the Hindu dharma, pilgrimage was part of one of the four Ashramas - Sannyasa –duty in the lifecycle of a human being - in their old age. Pilgrims traveled to visit the holy places, shrines ad temples.

Religion was a great unifying force. Pilgrimages strengthened religious bonds. It provided the impetus for a 'stay-at-home' agrarian society to break out of its narrow geographical confines. It also exposed people to new manners and customs, different kinds of food and modes of dress. It encouraged exchange of ideas and also fostered trade. It served as a powerful means of forging unity and understanding be­tween people from widely different regions.

Travel & Renaissance

By the 15th century AD, the great renaissance happened in Europe that marked the next important stage in the his­tory of travel. Italy became the intellectual capital of Europe. Education, politics, economics and others sciences reached a top position as there were a number of experts in each field in Italy. People from other parts of the world traveled to Italy, France and other parts of Europe. By 17th and 18th centuries, the travel in those categories has increased. Diplomats, business people and scholars engaged in travel. Thus, after the long break a renaissance happened in tourism also.

Grand Tour

By the end of the fifteenth cen­tury Italy itself became the object of attention. At this time Italy was Europe's economic and cultural leader. It was how­ever totally disunited politically. Wars were fought on Italian soil. Although in decline materially, Italy was still the intellectual capital of Europe. For the aristocracy and intelli­gentsia of north-west Europe it represented both the classical heritage and all the latest ideas and inventions. A growing number of young noblemen were being sent abroad to complete their education in France and Italy. Young men who wanted positions at court were encouraged to travel to the Continent to finish their education. They were often accompanied by their tutors. Paris, Rome, Florence & other cultural centers were the centers of scholars who reached for education. Such 'travel' occurred during then was referred as 'Grand tour'. During the 17th century, it became fashionable in England to undertake a Grand Tour. The sons of the nobility and gentry were sent upon an extended tour of Europe as an educational experience. The 19th century was the golden age of the Grand Tour. A modern equivalent of the Grand Tour is the phenomenon of the backpacker.

The Grand tourist respected the learn­ing, antiquities and social refinements of the old world. The eighteenth century is conventionally considered the golden age of the Grand Tour, especially the thirty years between 1763 and 1793.

Oxford English dictionary defines Grand tour as a tour to the principal cities and places of interest in Europe, formerly said to be an essential part of the education of the young man of 'good birth' and 'fortune '. Grand tour can be defined in terms of class, which would determine the places visited and the mode of travel. The reasons for undertaking the Grand tour were also diverse: career; education; culture; literary; health; scientific; business & economic. During this period a great many poets, authors-and intellectuals visited Italy and other countries nearby with a view to broaden their knowledge and learn new arts and crafts.

Industrial Revolution and Development of Travel

The grand tour slowly faded as the other nations of the world also raised to this status in accordance with European Nations. The emergence of industrial revolution led to different changes in the various spheres of human life. The things that were highly manual became industrial products. The rate of productivity increased. Employment rate was also increased. Man-machine employment rate increased and the continuous work with machines gave way for monotony in life which forced them to have rest from the working atmosphere. This stimulated the travel tendency of human beings. This is one way how industrialization helped tourism to grow. The scientific inventions and applications of them in the human life revolutionized the life style of man. The eighteenth century has seen the development of seaside resorts and by 1815 a service began operating between London & Gravesend which initiated travel to distant resorts. The introduction of the steam engine, the rail ways, the steam ship etc. made travel easier and faster and stimulated travel among people. Rising personal income due to rapid industrialization also energized travel propensity among men.

The concept of modern tourism came into being in the second half of the nineteenth century hand in hand with the development of the industrialized societies of Western Europe and North America. Development of industrialized societies of Western Europe and North America can therefore be consider­ed as responsible for growth of modern tourism. The industrial revolution brought in tremendous changes in society. It threw up great factory towns, big and small. The working class was in the beginning burdened by long working hours and poor working and living conditions. For a great number of people there was little relief from routine of putting in long hours of work in difficult conditions in the factory set-up of those days. Sudden concentration of population in towns and cities created un­healthy social conditions. As the industrial momentum gathered and the cities and their population" increased at an enormous rate, the need for escape became even more acme. The prosperous and well-to-do who could afford proceeded to various resorts. Industrialization also brought in an increase of material wealth and certain improvements in transport and communications during the second half of nineteenth and early twentieth century. People migrated in large numbers to cities in search of work. The returned to their villages or to tourist places during their holidays.

The factors like increasing need to find relief from workday routine and the city dweller's yearning for physical adventure and comforts and pleasure and development of resorts and spas for health and relaxation produced a fertile ground for the development of pleasure travel on a big scale. Many resorts owe their present day popularity to their original discovery by wealthy minorities during the Roman Empire. The nineteenth century saw the development of large­ scale pleasure zones at some considerable distance from the large cities and metropolitan centres of Central Europe. The French Riviera with Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo were some of these pleasure zones.

The Origin of the Concept of Annual Holiday

The introduction of annual holiday in Europe was another important landmark which encouraged many people to under­take travel in large numbers during the eighteenth century. The eighteenth century became the great age of travel. The annual holiday was the forerunner to the paid holiday which later was responsible for an extraordinary growth of tourism. The term holiday derived from ‘holy days’ that were associated with religious observances. In the present day it is used generally in a secular sense meaning a respite from the routine of daily workday life and a time for leisure, recreation and amusement. Public holidays were a feature of ancient Rome and were the most enjoyable days.

Also in Europe certain days commemorating religious festivals and saint's days became holy days where all works were stopped. In the year 1552 in England an act was passed during the reign of Edward VI "for the keeping of holidays and fasting days". This act stilt continues to be on the Statute Book. Subsequently, public and semi-official offices in England frequently closed on certain Saint's days. There were however, no general public holidays until the time of the Industrial Revolution. The concept of modern annual paid holiday is very largely an outcome of the Industrial Revolution. Workers were granted compulsory annual holidays, as a relief from the daily stressful work. During then, people traveled in masses and visited certain places such as Greece, Rome, France, and Italy. But they moved in a cluster rather than in an organized group. The workers also traveled to their villages to see their relatives and friends during their annual holidays.

In 1841, as secretary of South Midland Temperance Association, Thomas Cook organized an excursion for his members from Leicester to LoughBorough. The success of this venture with 570 participants encouraged him to arrange similar excursions using chartered trains and by 1845 he was organizing such trips, on a commercial basis. In such an organized tour, the organizer took care of the travel arrangements, accommodations, transport at the destination and the return to the homeland. The concept of organized tourism started flourishing and by 1855, cook had extended in the field of operations to the continent, organizing the first 'inclusive tour' to the Paris exhibition of that year. He also made the administration of travel easier by introducing the hotel voucher (1867) and in 1873 the 'circular note', the precursor to today's traveler’s cheque.

The invention of photography further stimulated growth of tourism. The first regular cross channel steamship was introduced in 1821, on the Dover- Calais route. In 1872, Thomas Cook first organized 'round the world tour'. As tourism grew in the later years of the century, so the organizers of travel became established institutionally. Thomas cook & Sir Henry Lunn are two of the best-known names of the period but many other well-known companies were also established. In the United States, American Express initiated money honors & travelers cheque. The development in the transport sector saw people moving in large numbers. The concept of mass tourism where multitudes of people moved from one place to another came into existence, and with the introduction of paid holidays, mass tourism gained momentum.

Paid Holidays and Mass Tourism

The concept of mass tourism emerged along with the introduction of holiday with pay. It was in the last quarter of the nineteenth century that increasing attention was paid to the desirability of holiday with pay. In the year 1936, modem tourism really got under way when, at the instigation of its trade union representatives, the International Labor Organization (lLO) adopted the first convention to support movements to promote paid holidays and, in turn, tourism. Only fourteen countries, mostly European, had enacted general legislation on paid holidays based on the ILO first convention. Concept of annual paid holiday was first introduced in England (the Holidays with Pay Act (I 938). Soon afterwards tourism experienced an extraordinary growth.

The right to paid holidays has universal recognition now. Paid holidays are now established all over the world. In most countries a minimum duration of one to three weeks is specified either by law. The trend is to grant longer holiday periods. The employers have realized that the paid holidays have not affected industrial production. The legal minimum in many countries at present is three weeks. The workers got their salaries while they could travel to cheap tourist destinations for getting relaxation from their stressful daily work. This had an important influence on development of mass tourism Introduction of paid holiday had led to great mobility of the population, created new industries, resulted in the creation and growth of many towns of distinctive function and broadened the horizons of millions of people.


In the opening years of 20th century, travel continued to expand, encouraged by the increasing wealth, curiosity & by the consistent developments in the transport sector. The First World War put different impacts in expanding world-wide travel. The Road networks were improved. Different mass communication methods were experimented. In the United States, the usage of motor cars for private holidays increased. In Britain, in 1921, four major rail companies emerged such as London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS), London & North Eastern Railway (LNER), Great Western Railway (GWR) and Southern Railway (SR). The arrival of airlines posed a threat for the long distant rail transportation but in the early periods, it was used mainly for mail carrying purposes. During the 1930s holiday camps were introduced aimed at the growing low-income market for holidays. Resorts and hotels proliferated along the sea sides of England. The government started to take initiatives in tourism business and in 1929, the British Government established the British Travel and Holidays Association and by the out-break of second world war the British government has recognized tourism as a mean for foreign exchange earnings.

The Second World War also had impacts in the growth of tourism. With the technological breakthroughs in aircraft design achieved during and after the II World War, air services proved a viable alternative to shipping for international travel. The real age of international mass travel began with the growth of air travel after World War II. In the immediate post-war period, there was a surplus of transport aircraft, such as the popular and reliable Douglas Dakota, and a number of ex military pilots ready to fly them. They were available for charter flights, and tour operators began to use them for European destinations, such as Paris.

These developments coincided with a significant increase in the standard of living in Britain. Further, the contribution of affordable air travel in combination with the package tour enabled international mass tourism to develop. The postwar introduction of an international system of airline regulation was another important factor. The bilateral agreements at the heart of the system fixed seat prices, and airlines could not fill blocks of empty seats on underused flights by discounting.


The end of world wars caused many changes in the political equations world over. Advances in aircraft technology and surplus aircraft in the immediate post-war years aided the rapid expansion of air travel. Air travel became faster, safer and more comfortable. Boeing 707 jet was successfully introduced for commercial purposes in 1958 which encouraged international travel. Apart from the emergence of aircrafts with jet engines, 1950s have experienced the emergence of chartered tourism using small aircrafts. A further technological break through in air transportation occurred in 1970, when the first wide bodied jet (Boeing 747s), capable of carrying over 400 passengers, appeared in service. The advent of developments in information technology caused revolutionary changes in tourism. The second half of the last century has seen tremendous growth in tourism and it has been considered as a social right in this modem world.

Hi speed trains are transforming travel and tourism industry. Trains like Bullet Train (Japan) and TGV (Trans Grande Vitesse, France) travel at speeds over 400 Kilometers per hour. In some countries, Luxury train travel costs more than air travel.


Tourism is one of the world's fastest growing industries. For example, there were around 25.3 million international tourist arrivals in 1960. By 1990, this figure had risen to 425 million, 17 times the earlier figure. By 1997, it had risen to 613 million. The World Tourism Organization forecasts that these figures will more than double to 1.6 billion people by 2020.

The importance of this rapid growth in tourism can be seen by the fact that travel and tourism generated 11% of global GDP in 1999; spending on international tourism reaching US$453 billion. In addition, the tourism industry employed 200 million people - 8% of total world employment. Thus, tourism is a major source of income and employment for many countries, particularly in the South where it can assist in addressing problems caused by poverty. The last quarter of a century has witnessed an unprecedented globalization of the world’s economies and societies. It has facilitated the rapid growth of tourism, which arguably is now the world’s largest industry in terms of employment and gross domestic product. International tourism has been particularly important to poorer nations.

Key factors in this growth include:

· Rising living standards and, especially, increased leisure time, has allowed many people in the North to take longer holidays and to travel to distant parts of the world. Many in the industrializing countries of Asia and Latin America are also becoming international tourists.

· Advances in transport technology following the introduction of the first passenger jet services in the 1950s and the development of the jumbo jet allow for relatively inexpensive long-distance travel.

· Long periods of relative political stability have made people feel safe venturing to new and unknown places.

· Television, movies and other media have stimulated interest in other parts of the world by showing attractive and exciting images of distant places.

· Increased leisure time and regular holidays are encouraging the growth of in-country or domestic tourism industries.

· The tourism industry has become highly professional and has promoted travel and holidays through well-financed advertising campaigns.


In India, during the early periods, a sophisticated agricultural economy made the export of cash crops an important trade link. Manufacture of iron-ore into steel for weaponry was another item of trade by the later Vedic period. Therefore people always wanted to find a route to India. The sea route was found by the great sailors. The incident of Christopher Columbus landing on the shores of America, and proclaiming as landed on India, reveals the amount of interest they had to discover sea route to India. Tools and textiles were other renowned Indian products. Trade became an important reason to travel to India.

But we do not hear muc abot ancient Indian travelers who went to other parts of the world. Ancient Indian texts talk of becoming a mleccha (an impure person) upon crossing a sea. Maybe this was the reason that Indians didn’t take up travel crossing the ocean.

The epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata show different events in which intensive travel was involved. The various kingdoms and dynasties ruled India also gave much importance to travel. The invasion of Alexander the Great was a milestone in the history of Indian tourism, which stimulated travel among countries. Instances of various foreign visitors to India can be traced from Indian history and the best examples are Huan- Tsang's visit during the Gupta era and Fa-Hiyan's from the Kingdom of China. The emergence of Buddhism really stimulated intra and inter-regional travel. 'Inns' were proliferated throughout India during then and people traveled to many places in relation to Buddha religion. Other religions also contributed in initiating travel like Islam, Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism.

During Muslim reign, trade was one of the important reasons for travel. That continued when the Europeans started to dominate India. When India became totally under British rule, the leisure tourism also emerged. British rulers, officers and others developed some important resorts all over India for the purpose of leisure tourism. International changes and developments in various spheres of life put impacts in Indian tourism and the industry has grown slowly. After independence also, the tourism sector in India has experienced only a slow growth, but the last quarter of the last century has seen tremendous developments in the tourism sector due to many reasons like governmental policy changes and technological advancements.