History of Travel & Tourism

2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia

Travel for trade was an important feature since the beginning of civilisation. The port at Lothal was an important centre of trade between the Indus valley civilisation and the Sumerian civilisation.

600 BC and thereafter

The earliest form of leisure tourism can be traced as far back as the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of historic antiquities was open to the public in Babylon. The Egyptians held many religious festivals that attracted the devout and many people who thronged to cities to see famous works of arts and buildings.

In India, as elsewhere, kings travelled for empire building. 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 pleasure, and in particular, sport. Athens had become an important site for travellers visiting the major sights such as the Parthenon. Inns were established in large towns and seaports to provide for travellers’ needs. Courtesans were the principal entertainment offered.
This era also saw the birth of travel writing. Herodotus was the worlds’ first travel writer. Guidebooks also made their appearance in the fourth century covering destinations such as Athens, Sparta and Troy. Advertisements in the way of signs directing people to inns are also known in this period.

The Roman Empire

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

Second homes were built by the rich near Rome, occupied primarily during springtime social season. The most fashionable 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 a similar status until the modern times.

In the Middle Ages

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

Adventurers sought fame and fortune through travel. The Europeans tried to discover a sea route to India for trade purposes and in 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 example Jehangir travelled to Kashmir drawn by its beauty.

Travel for empire building and pilgrimage was a regular feature.

The Grand Tour

From the early seventeenth century, a new form of tourism was developed as a direct outcome of the Renaissance. Under the reign of Elizabeth 1, young men seeking positions at court were encouraged to travel to continent to finish their education. Later, it became customary for education of gentleman to be completed by a ‘Grand Tour’ accompanied by a tutor and lasting for three or more years. While ostensibly educational, the pleasure seeking men travelled to enjoy life and culture of Paris, Venice or Florence. By the end of eighteenth century, the custom had become institutionalised in 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 in the seventeenth century in Britain and a little later in the European Continent as awareness about the therapeutic qualities of mineral water increased. Taking the cure in the spa rapidly acquired the nature of a status symbol. The resorts changed in character as pleasure became the motivation of visits. They became an important centre of social life for the high society.

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

The sun, sand and sea resorts

The sea water became associated with health benefits. The earliest visitors therefore drank it and did not 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 new sea side resorts grew in popularity. The introduction of steamboat services in 19th century introduced more resorts in the circuit. The seaside resort gradually became a social meeting point

Role of the industrial revolution in promoting travel in the west

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

Highlights of travel in 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 such as Thomas Cook.
  •  The European countries indulged in a lot of business travel often to their colonies to buy 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 companies who established great railway terminus hotels.
  •  Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers, elite, for gambling.
  •  Other types 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 development of photography.

Tourism in the Twentieth Century

The First World War gave first hand experience of countries and aroused a sense of curiosity about international travel among less well off sector for the first time. The large scale of migration to the US meant a lot 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 shape of mass tourism by the aviation industry. The surplus of aircraft and growth of private airlines aided the expansion of air travel. The aircraft had become 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 beginning 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 cost of travel down sharply. The seaside resorts in 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 in the 70s. Nepal and India received a throng of tourists lured by Hare Krishna movement and transcendental meditation. The beginning of individual travel in a significant volume only occurred in the 80s. Air travel also led to a continuous growth in business travel especially with the emergence of the MNCs.

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How to Become a Smart Traveler?

The eyes are worthless which haven’t seen the awesome beauty of the nature. As individuals we have many hobbies, some are easy and can be performed indoors while others are somewhat difficult and require one to go outdoors.

One such extremely interesting and exciting activity is traveling. Traveling, as hobby, can give a lot of fun and adventure. However, to become a smart traveler, there are few things that you must always keep in mind while starting on a journey.

Decide Where You Want to Go

Before starting on a journey, you must know what places you are planning to visit. If you are looking for serenity, a lonely beach or country side may be good for you. In case you are a wildlife enthusiast, visiting a forest reserve may be a great idea. However, wherever you are going, you must prepare and equip yourself according to the demands of the place.

Decide What You Want to Carry

Once, you have decided on your destination, you must give it a deep thinking on what things you would be carrying with you. For convenience, you must aim to carry the minimum load but at the same time should not miss on anything important. Without planning, you may forget even the most necessary items or sometimes carry things, which are useless.

Prioritize Things as Per Their Importance

You must categorize the items you want to carry as per their priority. Give highest priority to things like clothes, shoes, bag, communication device, a compass etc. Least priority should be given to things like perfumes, fancy clothing etc. Classifying things like this will help you in picking up the most important items while not exceeding the limit of luggage that you plan to carry with you. Also, you must avoid carrying valuable things with you.

Food

If you are going for places, where food is not available readily, you must also take some eatables with you. Ask people who have visited the place about the availability of food, hotels etc. If the location of your visit is isolated, do not forget to take dry rations and beverages with you.

Basic Medicines

When you visit a new place, there can be a lot of uncertainties. Hence, you must be prepared with some basic medicines and a first aid kit. You must take medicines for fever, dehydration, aches and pains etc. You should also not forget to take some plasters and antiseptic powder. Although, it is not a medicine, taking mosquito repellent is also a good idea.

If you take care of these things, you can become a smart traveler and make your travel much more enjoyable by being sure of avoiding a lot of inconveniences and hardships.

Costa Rica Travel News – Costa Rica Tops Tourism Table

Costa Rica has been ranked as the number one Latin America vacation destination in a major international survey of the world’s favorite tourism hotspots.

The World Economic Forum’s yearly travel competitiveness report takes into account a range of factors including natural resources, cultural heritage, the quality of infrastructure, standards of Costa Rica hotels and other services, and the overall regulation of the Costa Rica travel industry.

The report commented on the country’s Certification of Sustainable Tourism program, and the country’s unparalleled richness in natural resources, World Heritage sites and number of protected conservation areas.

Known as the rich coast, the country is unique in the world for its level of environmental protection, with almost 30% of the country’s land areas designated as protected areas, either as one of 35 national parks, conservation areas or natural reserves.

The Costa Rica travel industry has played a major role in the country’s sustainable development program by helping to establish privately operated lodges and reserves.

Some of the most successful and well known protected areas include the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Manuel Antonio National Park, Tortuguero National Park and the World Heritage Site on the Corcovado peninsula.

The country is known for its variation in natural landscapes which provide a home to the highest concentration of bio-diverse natural life on the planet’s surface. Thanks to the country’s compact size, even short Costa Rica vacations are able to include visits to several of the country’s world-famous natural wonders.

Supporting these strengths with abundant, high quality services such as hotels, car rental firms and high quality transport infrastructure, means that the country has been able to reinforce its position as a leading vacation destination in the Americas, and throughout the world.

This commitment to a sustainable and environmentally neutral tourism industry has been well documented in the past. The UN World Tourism Organization has previously praised the country’s Certification of Sustainable Tourism initiative, calling it a model that the rest of the world should follow.

This Costa Rica travel news update was written by a travel-loving Costa Rica vacation expert at Costa Rica For Less, a member of the Latin America For Less family.

Latin America For Less, a US travel agency established in 1998, offers a complete South America vacation service to destinations across Latin America, including Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia.

The company is unique in its ability to offer a price match guarantee as well as the highest standards in quality and customer service.

Fully customized itineraries coupled with personal and friendly service are the hallmarks of a Latin America For Less vacation.