Evolution of Tourism: Antecedent to Modern Tourism

It will be interesting to know how tourism must have really started. In the early days people the movement from one place to another was in search for food which was either animals or area where wild berries could be found. Once humans learnt about agriculture they started to settle down. But when the land exhausted itself movement would start again. During the Bronze Age cities were created encouraging migration from the rural areas to the city areas. Here they moved as artisans, craftsman or took to other forms of trade. That they moved for trade purposes is evident from coins and seals of one civilization found in another. One such example was the Indus Valley. When we progress from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age civilization travelling became more frequent. However, we will learn how travelling and tourism really developed since ancient times. If we start tracing travelling of human beings, we could begin with the nomadic period. The following could be the order.

  1. Nomadism
  2. Pilgrimage
  3. Travel for Trade and Business
  4. Migration
  5. Travel for research and education
  6. Multi-destination tourism


Nomads were people who travelled from place to place in search of food. Even today, you will find many people moving on caravans with their children and their entire belongings. We have read that this movement of people was concerned with survival. Now a-days, it is confined to places like deserts or mountains where food is not available.


Pilgrimage is a journey to holy places as per the beliefs and faith. Many religions attach importance to certain places like the birth or death of the founders of

the spiritual awakening. These places have great significance for the believers. In modern times, pilgrimage has become a source of mass tourism, because as development of transport and other facilities increased the number of people visiting such places increased too.

Travel for Trade and Business

As trade routes were discovered, and new lands opened up. People started moving from one place to another. Soon trade began and exchange of goods started which increased with the coming of the Industrial Revolution. Sea routes discovered by Vasco da Gama and Columbus led to the discovery of new destinations. Ship building assumed a very large role and so did the demand to sell finished goods and buy raw materials. It also led to people travelling for spreading their religion in other lands as well as for trade purposes. This soon assumed the shape of modern day tourism.


With the rise of Industrial Revolution in the West began the worldwide search for markets to buy and sell finished goods. Migration is the movement of people from one place to another. This has been happening since very long time. Early migration is believed to have occurred around a million years ago when Homo- erectus first migrated out of Africa to European and Asian region.

Travel for Research and Education

With passage of time movement of people began for specific purposes. Then people moved to far flung places in search of good education. This gave tremendous boost to educational tourism. Innumerable schools and educational institutions for research have come up in far flung areas. In India today we are seeing the restarting of a very ancient university called Nalanda University in Bihar.

Multi-destination Tourism

Today tourism has acquired many dimensions for various reasons. It is an efficient and profitable means to develop economic activity in many countries. All care is taken to provide facilities needed by the tourists which include transport, accommodation, local travel of tourists, food and beverage, entertainment and comforts. Multi-destination tourism includes travelling and visiting a series of places for tourism purpose. It has become a very popular activity with tourists. When tourists are travelling, they are not confined to a single place but are visiting many places one after another. Hence today, multi- destination tourism is the need of the hour.




About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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