What is Tourism? History, Attraction, Purposes, Benefits, Modes, Technology

  • Post last modified:28 August 2021
  • Reading time:26 mins read
  • Post category:Tourism

What is Tourism?

Tourism is a concern with pleasure, holidays, traveling and moving, departing or arriving somewhere. These are the source of motivations that make people leave their “normal” place of work and residence for short-term or long-term temporary visits to “other” Places.

Tourism infect is a leisure activity or phenomenon because it coexists with its opposite, that is regulated and organized work this shows us that in modern societies work and leisure are arranged as separate and regulated areas of social practice.

They are spotted in specific places and specific spans of time. Tourism involves the movement of people to and fro, and their accommodation at different destinations. This activity involves a journey and services like transportation, accommodation catering and services, and viewing and exploring, etc.

History of Tourism

There are some phases of the history of tourism that discuss below:

  1. Roman Empire Period
  2. Middle Age Period
  3. 17th Century
  4. Industrial Revolution Period
  5. 19th to 20th the Centuries
  6. 1980s
  7. 1990s

Roman Empire Period

During the Roman Empire period (from about 27 BC to AD 476), travel developed for military, trade, and political reasons, as well as for communication of messages from the central government to its distant territories.

Travel was also necessary for the artisans and architects “imported” to design and construct the great palaces and tombs. In ancient Greece, people traveled to Olympic Games. Both the participants and spectators required accommodations and food services.

Wealthy Romans, in ancient times, traveled to seaside resorts in Greece and Egypt for sightseeing purposes.

Middle Age Period

During the Middle Age (from about AD 500 to 1400), there was a growth of travel for religious reasons. It had become an organized phenomenon for pilgrims to visit their “holy land”, such as Muslims to Mecca, and Christians to Jerusalem and Rome.

16th Century In the 16th century, the growth in England’s the trade and commerce led to the rise of a new type of tourists – those who traveled to broaden their own experience and knowledge.

17th Century

In the 17th century, the sons and daughters of the British aristocracy traveled throughout Europe (such as Italy, Germany, and France) for periods of time, usually 2 or 3 years, to improve their knowledge.

This was known as the Grand Tour, which became a necessary part of the training of future administrators and political leaders.

Industrial Revolution Period

The Industrial Revolution (from about AD 1750 to 1850) in Europe created the base for mass tourism. This period turned most people away from basic agriculture into the town/ factory and urban way of life.

As a result, there was a rapid growth of the wealth and education level of the middle class, as well as an increase in leisure time and a demand for holiday tourism activities.

At that time, travel for health became important when the rich and fashionable Europeans began to visit the spa towns (such as Bath in England and Baden – Baden in Germany) and seaside resorts in England (such as Scarborough, Margate, and Brighton).

19th to 20th the Centuries

In the 19th and 20th centuries, social and technological changes have had an immense impact on tourism. Great advances in science and technology made possible the invention of rapid, safe, and relatively cheap forms of transport: the railways were invented in the 19th century and the passenger aircraft in the 20th century.

World War II (AD 1939-1945) was also the impetus for dramatic improvements in communication and air transportation, which made travel much easier today than in earlier times.


The 1980s were called the boom years. Business and leisure travel expanded very rapidly. The baby boomers were coming of age and had the money to spend. These travelers were looking for a variety of travel products from exciting vacation options such as adventure travel, ecotourism, and luxurious travel.

There was not only a significant expansion in the travel market but also in tourist destinations. The fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1989 signified the doom of communism in Europe. Countries such as Russia and the Czech Republic became new tourist destinations both for vacation and business travelers.


The Aviation Industry was facing high operational costs, including wages, oil prices, handling fees of the Central Reservation System (CRS), landing charges of the air crafts and advertising fees,s, etc. During this decade, CRS also marched towards more sophisticated technology.

It became possible for agents to book a huge inventory of travel products, such as hotels, car rentals, cruises, rail passes, and theatre tickets from the CRS.

The introduction of “ticketless traveling” (electronic ticket) brings benefits to the airlines by cutting the amount of paperwork and cost of tickets. At the same time, passengers do not have to worry about carrying or losing tickets.

Although electronic ticketing does not bypass the travel agents as intermediaries, it makes it easier for the airline to deal directly with consumers. Travelers can now log on to the Internet easily reach for travel information, book a simple ticket or hotel room through their personal computer at home. There are thousands of new destinations, tour products, and discounted airfares for travelers to choose from.

Tourism Attraction

The tourists have the different attraction of the different tourist places some of the types are as follow:

  1. Recreational Tourism
  2. Leisure Tourism
  3. Sports Tourism
  4. Business of Technical Tourism

Recreational Tourism

Recreation and entertainment are the first purposes of tourism. The people are bored with their routine and daily work. They want to change the dullness of the mind. They throw away their worries and start their work with a refreshed mind.

This change is done in tourism of this type, Tourists spend time in the hotels and enjoy. Some of the tourists choose the silent seashores or hill stations for their recreation. These tourists certainly choose good places where fresh air is available.

Shri. Atnadupsingh writes that the present trend is that this tourism is famous among the learned people and intellectual workers. At these places the people try to know the art, history, folklife traditions, customs, and natural entertainment, etc., sometimes this tourism is called as Cultural Tourism.

Leisure Tourism

This tourism has various purposes. These tourists have different ways to derive pleasures, from such as different climates, different natural beauty, to rest at a remote place to observe tribal dances to see new things and to derive new experiences.

The tourists wish to spend their time at quiet places and away from their daily routine works and locality. These tourists go to calm places to get a quiet atmosphere away from their daily busy life, crowded streets, and house.

The main purpose of this tourism is to spend some time quietly and freely away from their usual daily work. In this tourism, tourists possibly roam to see beaches & waterfalls.

Sports Tourism

Tourism is also a group process like a visit to the sports field, Of course in these two fields excellent guidance and right planning is required, otherwise, development of both is impossible. The development of sports is one of the main purposes of tourism.

Swimming, sports competitions hunting, fishing, etc. sports are inspired due to tourism. Across the world, tourists crowd at the sports places during Olympic competition, skating, football competition, Wimbolden tennis competition, Hockey and boxing competition besides above sports-type maintaining horse riding, boat rowing, cricket, etc like these there are hundreds of sports competitions.

Countries that are inspired due to tourism arrangements develop sports fields. They get benefits from tourism development. Tourism is a good inspiration to sports organizers.

Business of Technical Tourism

According to some economists and sociologists traveling done by professional people cannot be considered as tourism because the business view is more important than the self wish. It lacks entertainment, a recreation which is rest, etc. its aim of tourism.

In the professional traveling business, people have no freedom of fixing a tourist place. Even they have no personal traveling freedom, They do not get the joy of staying. Business tourism is not considered as good tourism as they have no freedom.

In business tourism, many business people have to travel for business and visit exhibitions, a fair which is included in it. Whenever business tourists get time like other tourists they spend their time for enjoyment and recreation.

Purpose of Tourism

Following are the purposes of the tourism such as educational, religious, and mostly recreational:

  1. Holiday Tourism
  2. Tourism for Visiting to Friends and Relatives
  3. Study Tourism
  4. Religious Tourism
  5. Other Purposes of Tourism

Holiday Tourism

In holiday tourism the purpose of tourists is to spend the day at the natural places away from home to see the dam, sea beach or thick forests beauty. In Europe, America, and even India middle-class people enjoy holiday tourism during their holidays.

Parents and students participate in picnics or sports as a part of holiday tourism. Sometimes they go participate in foreign tourism. While choosing these places preference is given to the hobbies. Mostly such picnics are arranged for family members, friends, or colleagues.

Tourism for Visiting to Friends and Relatives

Sometimes the purpose of tourism is to visit friends and relatives. In this tourism, both domestic and foreign tourism are included. Tourists visit their friends, relatives in the cities and towns as well as they visit the tourist places.

Tourists halt at their relatives and friends places hence they don’t have to spend money on stay in hotels.

Study Tourism

Study tourism is practiced by youths. Students go to various countries for education. The students do not have a lot of money so they cannot afford to visit tourist places that are away from their study place. They visit educational, research centers, museums, exhibition,s etc.

Religious Tourism

The purpose of this type of tourism is to visit religious places. In eastern countries the main purpose of tourism is to visit religious places. In India, crores of people visit religious places. In Maharashtra, devotees visit Pandharpur, Kolhapur, Tuljapur, Shirdi, and Nasik.

They give preference to religious places rather than tourist places.

Other Purposes of Tourism

In this type of business purpose, health purpose, sale of articles, political, technical, and scientific causes are important. The specific climate is useful for recovery from various diseases for instance for TB clean air at sanitoriums is useful. Hot water springs are useful for skin diseases as it contains sulfur.

Modes of Tourism

These are the modes of tourism which we used for travel:

  1. Pedestrian Tourism
  2. Motor Tourism
  3. Railway Tourism
  4. Maritime Tourism
  5. Air Tourism

Pedestrian Tourism

Today this tourism is rare but earlier tourists were completing their journey on foot, as the development of transportation was very poor. At times they used animals such as ox, horses, and donkeys, camels for transportation.

Motor Tourism

Nowadays people have their own private vehicles so they use their vehicles for tourism. Due to private vehicles, this type of tourism has increased.

Railway Tourism

The railway is a very important means of transport for long-distance touring. A railway journey is comfortable to any corner of the country. The extension of the railway causes the development of tourism. The numbers of tourists have increased in Goa and Karnataka due to the Konkan railway.

Maritime Tourism

Maritime tourism is famous from an earlier age. Ships were used for tourism, earlier steamships were used, nowadays diesel and atomic energy is used for ship transport in domestic and foreign tourism.

Air Tourism

After World war II air transport has become important means in the development of tourism especially where there are no roads or railway routes. Air transport is useful for fast traveling and long journeys. Every country and every continent is connected by airways.

Technology in Tourism

Technology has greatly influenced the way travel is carried out, sold, and distributed from producers to consumers. It will continue to change and all participants in tourism will have to constantly adjust to new and often very different forms of technology.

  1. Transportation
  2. Communications Technology Traditional
  3. Distribution of Travel Products


All tourists have to get to and from their holiday destinations by one form of transport or the other. In the 21st century, means of transport have become faster, more reliable, and more comfortable. Examples include Mega Ships, Fast Trains, Private cars, Tourist Attractions.

From the management of natural attractions to sophisticated, computer-run theme park rides and IMAX cinemas technology has greatly impacted the attractions industry.

Communications Technology Traditional

Communications Technology Traditional: Messengers, Mail, Telex, Telegram, Fixed line telephone, Fax. In the 21st century: E-mail, Skype, Internet, SMS, Mobile Phone, Satellite phone (Iridium).

Distribution of Travel Products

The vast majority of travel products are services and as such, they are different from physical products in several ways.

  1. Consumers must travel to consume the product.

  2. Intangibility (can’t be touched from the distance) of product means that pre-testing of tourism products is not possible.

  3. Perishable – hotel rooms, airline seats or events tickets can’t be stored.

  4. Simultaneous production and consumption.

  5. Traditional Travel Product Distribution The vast majority of travel products are services and as such they are different from physical products in several ways.

  6. Airlines, hotels, cruise companies, restaurants, attraction etc. ‘manufacture” the product or service.

  7. Tour Wholesaler or consolidators package the various products and offer them as packages to the market.

  8. Travel agents acting as agents of the producers of the services or agents of the tour wholesalers sell the products and services for a commission.

  9. The consumer buys the travel product from the travel agent 21st Century.

Constraints of Tourism Growth

The international community is threatened by numerous constraints, like the energy crisis, the use, and distribution of resources, inflation, unemployment, and deteriorating terms of trade. In this context, we have to clarify the true nature of tourism and its role in the future to see how these factors function as obstacles.

Most countries, by adopting paid holiday and some form of a tourism subsidy (like LTC or holiday bonus) have made a commitment to leisure time and, therefore, to tourism, such a commitment is often made without realizing that there is interdependence between the general level of development and the social framework of civil society.

These then act as obstacles to tourism development. These factors are identified as obstacles to the development of modern tourism. Added to these can be economic, social, and political differences in:

  1. Financial resources
  2. Human Resources
  3. Institutional, Administrative and Managerial Cultures
  4. Implementation and design Machinery
  5. Priority given to tourism

If tourism is not to be a threat to its own future then all countries should devote special attention in the following areas:

  • A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the natural, cultural, artistic and human resources and plan their use as well as their protection. Most planned tourism extends their use but does not protect resources.

  • Realize that one country’s heritage is a part of the heritage of making and, therefore, avoid conflict, was and mis-sensitivity to a holistic view of heritage.

  • Recognize the social and economic importance of tourism and extend its conversations aspect to create an unpolluted environment.

  • Recognize that traditional values, particularly non-materialistic values should guide tourism as a social force and a negotiable resource between the rich and the poor.

  • To achieve tourism related goals via bilateral and multilateral agreements, into which socio-economic goals can be introduced, if tourism is for developing the host country.

  • The threats and obstacles model in tourism development should address to the dual problem – preserve as you develop.

  • All tourism development must not be related to short terms needs no matter how pressing, but must respond to obligations which we must feel towards the exploited, the marginalized, the poor and backward, the uneducated, etc. Therefore, the view of tourism should be long term.

    This means that the habitual consumer attitude which has been developed with general social approval should be discouraged.

Tourism can be said to have feed itself from obstacles if it can help people to change their daily routines. A new environment a new room, new food, new people, different faces, different languages, different money could be an opportunity to recognize the need for change rather than to succumb to international standards simply because they are familiar.

Benefits of Tourism

These are benefits of tourism we will discuss below:

  1. The value of tourism is much more than simply visitor numbers and expenditure.

  2. The value of tourism is the income generation and its linkage through the community to maximize the export earnings from visiting tourists.

  3. Through the identification of Local Distinctiveness a strategy can be developed to support the economically disadvantaged and stimulate micro businesses opportunities of produce, crafts and services.

  4. The value of tourism is to contribute to building better facilities for the local community. The more pleasurable a community’s lifestyle the greater the appeal of the destination to visitors.

  5. The value of tourism is to make direct contribution to the conservation of cultural and natural heritage which visitors come to consume.

  6. It is too easy to generalise about the economic value of tourism without examining the impact of tourism at a community or precinct level. A Responsible Accommodation experience can be both enriching for the guest and the community.

  7. Local economic development therefore works hand in hand with identifying the Local Distinctiveness of the destination, the linkage between tourism businesses and suppliers, the creation of opportunities for the community to prosper, the creation of facilities and the active involvement of local government.

  8. Regional and local tourism requires a partnership between local government economic development and planning policy, the communities, tourism operators, national parks and other stakeholders.

  9. Tourism funding and therefore its focus are all too often concentrating on promotion. The Visitor Economy requires a holistic and integrated strategy at local level to boost the linkage and minimize leakage.

  10. A five point recommendation list is made.

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