The first tourists were very rich people with a yen for adventure. They sailed the oceans on great steamships, and traversed the earth on foot, on horseback and with any pack-animal they could find. Some lugged along large and unwieldy photograph-taking equipment, and it is through their indefatigable enthusiasm that we have some visual record of what travel must have been like in those days.
Tourism, as we know the industry today, largely sprung up after World War 2. Americans and European soldiers returned to the exotic countries and peoples they had first seen while on combat duty, this time coming in peace and often bringing their families with them. The post-war prosperity of the Fifties and Sixties fed this urge to travel across the Atlantic, and to further regions of the world.
In the Seventies, affluent Japanese discovered that they could travel overseas at cheaper cost than within their own archipelago, and the great eastern movement began. They were quickly followed in the Eighties by the upper and rising middle-class from Southeast Asia and Australasia, while the Nineties saw the emergence of the Arab traveller in full force.
In this first decade of this millennium, the greatest growth in outbound travel seems to emanate from the Oriental nations of South Korea and China, with Chinese tourists changing the patterns of global travel.
The mode of travel has also evolved. While the car was the first vehicle that enabled the masses to travel in relative ease, this travel was mainly domestic and, in some cases, regional. Aviation has always been at the forefront of international tourism growth, and these days, it is commercial aircraft that transport the largest number of people around the globe not land-vehicles or ships. This brings us to the subject of tourism-related aviation : a speciality of answers!
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