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The History of Tourism

The nature of the tourism industry has greatly changed for the last few centuries. The activities during the 16th -18th century tourism are to some extent different from the contemporary nature of tourism. However, the past activities involved in the industry have to some extent affected the present nature of tourism.

The idea of leisure being considered as an important right was realized as early as 16th century. During the century, queen Elizabeth I was against the attempts made by those who tried to influence on the city council to restrict the leisure activities by the public.1 The queen proposed the idea that people should be permitted to enjoy their rest time by involving themselves in the leisure activities of their choice. During this time, the Puritan bill aimed at discouraging leisure on Sundays as this would lower the rate of church attendance.2

In the 16th century, there was a heated conflict between the people who advocated for the recognition of the people's right for leisure and those who were more concerned with moral responsibilities.3 This significantly affected tourism in the 16th century.

One of the main differences in the tourism of the 16th-18th century with that of 20th century is based on the means of transport used during these different periods. There have been significant changes and developments in the transportation systems. During the 16th– 18th century, the nature of to the main means of transport involved grand tours, spas in UK, carriages, and stagecoach. The means of transport involved were slower than the present means of transport. They were also less efficient and time consuming.

During the 20th century, the tourism was characterized by a more advanced transportation system. Commercial jet airlines have emerged which is faster means of transport. These advancements in the transport means made tourism cheaper and enjoyable.

Carriages: 17th century AD

During the 17th century, the transport means changed significantly. The wheeled vehicles during the period were only used for those laborious duties like transporting goods from one place to another .4

The new changes on the roads in the 17th century have improved the mode of transportation. Carriages are now available for hiring services (History World). This improvement has significantly affected the field of tourism. This enables tourists to access the places of their interests more efficiently than ever in the previous centuries.

On the late 17th century, a lighter and racier vehicle which had two wheels was introduced in Paris.5 The vehicle was very enjoyable and was used for the leisure during the time. Many people enjoyed driving this type of carriage especially the tourists.

The Past and the present nature of tourism

From the past history, it is evident that the carriage which was introduced in the 17th century did not undergo "extinction", it only underwent evolution which led to improvements of the vehicle. However, this kind of carriage has been replaced by the car in the present world.

In the 20th century, more investors invested in the tourism industry. For instance, Thomas cook which deals with tourism has enabled tourists to enjoy their holidays by organizing for the transport and accommodation.5 Such services were not available in the 16th -18th century.

The development that was made on the carriages of the 17th century has had a very significant impact on the 20th century tourism. The tourists could access areas which they could not have accessed in the past. For instance, the emerging of the commercial jets enables people to visit distant places where carriages could have not reached them. This improves the tourism industry.


The above discussion shows that there has been a very significant change in the field of tourism. This has been fueled by the developments that have characterized the modern world.

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