TOURISM THROUGH THE AGES
Recognize the antiquity of human travel over vast distances on both sea and land.
Understand how these journeys have evolved from trips that were difficult and often
dangerous into mass travel for millions today.
Learn the names of some of the great travelers in history who wrote astonishing
accounts of exotic places they had visited.
Discover the many similarities in travel motivations, economic conditions, political
situations, attractions, and tourist facilities during the period of the Roman Empire
Points of Emphasis
Today’s travelers are but the latest aggregation of those which go
back into antiquity. But they don’t do their traveling by
themselves. Planning, guiding, transporting, and accommodating
them has given a livelihood to countless legions over thousands
About 4,000 B.C.E. the Sumerians grasped the idea of money,
invented cuneiform writing, the wheel, and tour guides – surely
founders of tourism! About 5,000 years ago, cruises of discovery
were conducted from Egypt, and many festivals held there.
Primitive roads then paved ones followed built by the Hittites,
Minoans, Assyrians, those in India, and especially by the
Romans who started building roads in 150 B.C.E.
Lands of the Mediterranean Sea area saw great advances in
travel. In addition to roads, the Olympic Games, other festivals,
ships of the Phoenicians, and writings of Herodotus contributed
to early tourism. But all travel then was somewhat dangerous.
During the Dark Ages in Europe (476-1450 C.E.) following the
collapse of the Roman Empire, only the most adventuresome
would travel. In Oceania amazing voyages were accomplished.
In about 500 C.E. Hawaii was colonized by Polynesians. In
Europe, monasteries and early inns accommodated travelers. The
Grand Tour was noteworthy in the 17th and 18th centuries for
English well-heeled youths.
In America, early travel by Europeans began in the 16
More modern developments were the spas and seaside resorts of
Britain, the first rail excursions, the first steamship agent, travel
agent, and escorted tours. Early modes of travel were by foot,