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INDUSTRIES: Business History of Tourism
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July 5, 1841 - Thomas Cook arranged special train between Leicester and Loughborough in England (11 miles) for temperance meeting; believed to be first publicly advertised excursion train in England; charged one shilling per person (included rail tickets, food); Cook was paid a share of the fares actually charged to the passengers, as the railway tickets, being legal contracts between company and passenger, could not have been issued at his own price; began to arrange excursions for pleasure, took percentage of the railway tickets; 1844 - Midland Counties Railway Company made permanent arrangement with him provided he found the passengers; 1856 - introduced railway tour of Europe; early 1860s - began the travel firm of Thomas Cook and son; 1880s - took on military transport and postal services for England and Egypt; May 26, 1972 - acquired in Midland Bank-led buyout; 2002 - acquired by the German company C&N Touristic AG, later changed its name to Thomas Cook AG (jointly owned by Lufthansa and Karstadt).

portrait of Thomas Cook Thomas Cook (

1869 - John F. Fugazi, immigrant from Milan, founded Fugazi travel agency in San Francisco.

June 5, 1882 - John Mitchell Lyons, railway clerk in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (headquarters of Intercolonial Railway of Canada), received a Canadian patent for "Improvements in Baggage Checks and Coupon Tickets"; way to track and identify luggage; baggage check separated into halves along perforation; both pieces printed with same route information and identifying number; one half attached to bag, other given to passenger to claim luggage at destination.

March 7, 1911 - Willis S. Farnsworth and William H. Reed, of Petaluma, CA, received a patent for a "Magazine Hinge and Conveyer"; coin-operated locker; assigned to Coin Controlled Lock Co.

June 15, 1945 - Frank Barry, Joe Moran, other partners merged variety of competing boat ride services, formed Circle Line company (3-hour cruise around Manhattan cost $1.25); July 4, 1961 - carried its 10 millionth passenger; 1981 - Circle Line Sightseeing Yachts, Inc. acquired by Karl G. Andren (founder of United Tank Containers); formed New York Cruise Lines, Inc.; November 27, 1984 - registered "Circle Line" trademark first used December 31, 1950 (Conducting Sightseeing Cruise Services by Yacht or Boat); New York’s oldest, largest provider of scheduled, chartered sightseeing, special function cruises.

1957 - Arthur Frommer, former Army intelligence officer posted in Berlin, self-published 5,000 copies of "Europe on $5 A Day" (originally written for GIs); sold for $.50 per copy; helped to change leisure travel; showed average Americans they could afford a trip to Europe; 1965 - title changed to "Europe on $5 and $10 a Day"; 2004 - changed to "Europe From $85 a Day".

Picture Arthur Frommer - Europe on $5 a Day (

March 8, 1994 - Don Ku, of Flushing, NY, received a patent for a "Wheeled Suitcase of Luggage Support with Collapsible Towing Handle"; assigned to Liberty Leather Products Co. Inc. (Brooklyn, NY).

2000 - Record 13.2 million American traveled to Europe (European Travel Commission).

August 11, 2006 - Intrawest Corporation (owner of Mammoth, Stratton, Whistler, Tremblant and other properties) agreed to  biggest buyout of publicly traded resort operator: about $1.8 billion cash by the Fortress Investment Group.

October 1, 2007 - BBC Worldwide (British Broadcasting Corporation) acquired Lonely Planet, travel guidebook company for an undisclosed sum (75% from founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler; 25% from John Singleton, shareholder since 1999).

July 31, 2008 - Hotel industry in Hawaii hit hard by slowdown in  travel:


(American Society of Travel Agents), George L. Fichtenbaum (1990). Passport to the World: The History of ASTA. (Alexandria, VA: American Society of Travel Agents, 472 p.). American Society of Travel Agents--History; Travel Agents--United States--Societies, etc.--History.

(Brewster Transport), E.J. Hart (1981). The Brewster Story: From Pack Train to Tour Bus. (Banff, AB: Brewster Transport Company, Ltd., 163 p.). Brewster family; Brewster Transport Company; Bus lines -- Alberta -- Banff; Sightseeing business -- Alberta -- Banff.

(Compass), Amir D. Aczel (2001). The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention That Changed the World. (New York, NY: Harcourt, 178 p.). Compass.

(Compass), Alan Gurney (2004). Compass: A Story of Exploration and Innovation. (New York, NY: Norton, 288 p.). British Writer, Photographer, Yacht Designer. Compass--History. 

(Thomas Cook), Piers Brendon (1991). Thomas Cook: 150 Years of Popular Tourism. (London, UK: Secker & Warburg, 372 p.). Thomas Cook Ltd.--History; Travel agents--History.

(Cruise West), Charles B. West (1985). Mr. Alaska: The Chuck West Story: Forty Years of Alaska Tourism, 1945-1985. (Seattle, WA: Weslee Pub., 153 p.). West, Charles B., 1914- ; Travel agents--Alaska--Biography.

(Global Group), Steve Baker (2004). Pushing Water Uphill with a Rake: Memoirs of a Successful Failure. (Merric Publishing, 207 p.). Business Marketing Consultant. Baker, Steve; Global Group; travel services; lawsuit. 

(Hawke's Bay Motor Company), Leonard Ernest Anderson (1967). Coaches North; The Story of the Hawke's Bay Motor Company. (Auckland, NZ: Reed, 124 p.). Hawke's Bay Motor Company.

(Holland-Amerika Lijn), H.A. Dalkmann and A.J. Schoonderbeek (1998). One Hundred and Twenty-Five Years of Holland America Line: A Company History. (Edinburgh, Scotland: Pentland Press, 439 p.). Holland-Amerika Lijn.

(Lindblad Travel), Lars-Eric Lindblad with John G. Fuller; introduction by Roger Tory Peterson (1983). Passport to Anywhere: The Story of Lars-Eric Lindblad. (New York, NY: Times Books, 305 p.). Lindblad, Lars-Eric; Travel agents--Sweden--Biography; Safaris; pioneered expedition travel ( "eco-tourism").

Lars-Eric Lindblad (

(Lonely Planet Publications), Tony & Maureen Wheeler (2005). Once While Travelling: The Lonely Planet Story. (Camberwell, Vic.: Penguin Group (Australia), 391 p.). Founders, Lonely Planet Publications. Wheeler, Tony, 1946- ; Wheeler, Maureen; Lonely Planet Publications (Firm); Travel--Anecdotes; Travelers--Australia--Biography; Publishers and publishing--Australia--Biography. Evolution of travel guide business into world’s largest independent travel publishing company.

Maureen & Tony Wheeler - Lonely Planet (

--- (2007). Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story: How Two Backpackers Trekked Across Asia-and Revolutionized the World of Independent Travel. (North Clarendon, VT: Tuttle Publishing, 416 p.). Wheeler, Tony, 1946- ; Wheeler, Maureen; Lonely Planet Publications (Firm); Travel--Anecdotes; Travelers--Australia--Biography; Publishers and publishing--Australia--Biography. 1970 - met during Belfast-born Maureen's first week in London,  went on planned one-year trip through  Far East, ended up stranded, penniless in Australia; decided to publish short travel guide on Asia, became basis of multinational company. 

(Mount Cook Company), Harrry Wigley (1979). The Mount Cook Way: The First Fifty Years of the Mount Cook Company. (Auckland, NZ: Collins, 218 p.). Mount Cook Company.

(Rocky Mountaineer), Paul Grescoe (2000). Trip of a Lifetime: The Making of the Rocky Mountaineer. (Vancouver, BC: Hurricane Press, 256 p.). Rocky Mountaineer Railtours --History; Railroad travel --British Columbia --History; Railroad travel --Alberta --History; Railroads --British Columbia --History; Railroads --Alberta --History.

(Rosenbluth Intl.), Hal F. Rosenbluth and Diane McFerrin Peters (1992). The Customer Comes Second: And Other Secrets of Exceptional Service. (New York, NY: Morrow, 240 p.). Organizational effectiveness; Employee motivation; Quality of work life; Travel agents--Management. 

(Santa Monica Pier), James Harris; introduction by Robert Redford (2009). Santa Monica Pier: A Century on the Last Great Pleasure Pier. (Santa Monica, CA: Angel City Press, 128 p.). Santa Monica Pier--history; Los Angeles--tourism. Built in 1909 to provide structure for removal of Santa Monica's sewage from beaches.

(Travelmart), Marge Lawson (2001). The Travelmart Story: Story of How It All Began: Written in Celebration of our 50th Anniversary, 1952-2002: Memories. (North Olmstead, OH: Snow Book Co., 260 p.). Travelmart (Firm)--History; Travel agents--History.

(TUI AG), von Bernhard Stier und Johannes Laufer (2005). Von der Preussag zur TUI: Wege und Wandlungen eines Unternehmens 1923-2003. (Essen, Germany: Klartext, 632 p.). Preussag zur TUI;. One of most radical restructuring processes in German business history. 

(Tunibra Travel), Sonia Sahao (2000). Takeharu Akagawa: Uma Vida Dedicada ao Turismo. (Sao Paulo, SP: Edicon, 159 p.). Akagawa, Takeharu, 1909- ; (Sa~o Paulo (Brazil)); Travel agents--Brazil--Biography.

Robert C. Allen (2004). Creating Hawai'i Tourism: A Memoir. (Honolulu, HI: Bess Press, 258 p.). President and Director of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Grayline Hawaii and the Hotel Operating Co. Allen, Robert Coleman; Travel agents--Hawaii--Biography; Businessmen--Hawaii--Biography; Tourism--Hawaii--History. 

Mark Daniel Barringer (2002). Selling Yellowstone: Capitalism and the Construction of Nature. (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 238 p.). Concessions (Amusements, etc.) --Yellowstone National Park --History; Resort development --Yellowstone National Park --History; Land use --Yellowstone National Park --History; Capitalism --Social aspects --Yellowstone National Park --History; Capitalism --Environmental aspects --Yellowstone National Park --History; Nature --Effect of human beings on --Yellowstone National Park --History; Yellowstone National Park --History; Yellowstone National Park --Economic conditions; Yellowstone National Park --Environmental conditions.

Dina Berger (2006). The Development of Mexico’s Tourism Industry: Pyramids by Day, Martinis by Night. (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 164 p.). Assistant Professor of Modern Latin American History (Loyola University Chicago). Tourism--Mexico--History. Emergence of modern tourism, how tourist boosters capitalized on broader shifts in U.S.-Mexican relations. 

Mansel G. Blackford (2001). Fragile Paradise: The Impact of Tourism on Maui, 1959-2000. (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 277 p.). Tourism --Environmental aspects --Hawaii --Maui; Maui (Hawaii) --Economic conditions.

Connie Y. Chiang; foreword by William Cronon (2008). Shaping the Shoreline: Fisheries and Tourism on the Monterey Coast. (Seattle, WA, University of Washington Press, 282 p.). Assistant Professor of History and Environmental Studies (Bowdoin College).Fisheries --California --Monterey Peninsula --History; Tourism --California --Monterey Peninsula --History; Monterey Peninsula (Calif.) --History. Monterey's development from seaside resort to working-class fishing town to tourist attraction; ways in which Monterey has formed, been formed by, tension between labor and leisure; stage for great shift in junction of industry and tourism, from literal Cannery Row to iconic hub; reciprocal relationship between social, environmental change.

Catherine Cocks (2001). Doing the Town: The Rise of Urban Tourism in the United States, 1850-1915. (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 287 p.). Tourism--United States; Cities and towns--United States. 

Michael Dawson (2004). Selling British Columbia: Tourism and Consumer Culture, 1890-1970. (Vancouver, BC: UBC Press, 274 p.). Tourism--British Columbia--History; Tourism--British Columbia--Marketing--History; Consumption (Economics)--Canada--History; Tourisme--Colombie-Britannique--Histoire; Tourisme--Colombie-Britannique--Marketing--Histoire; Consommation (Économie politique)--Canada--Histoire.

Bob Dickinson and Andrew Vladimir (1997). Selling the Sea: An inside Look at the Cruise Industry. (New York, NY: Wiley, 364 p.). Ocean Travel, Cruise Ships. 

J. Valerie Fifer (1988). American Progress: The Growth of the Transport, Tourist, and Information Industries in the Nineteenth-Century West, Seen Through the Life and Times of George A. Crofutt, Pioneer and Publicist of the the Transcontinental Age. (Chester, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 472 p.). Crofutt, George A.; Businessmen -- United States -- Biography; Transportation -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century; Advertising -- Transportation -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century; Tourism -- West (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.

Kristoffer A. Garin (2005). Devils on the Deep Blue Sea: The Dreams, Schemes, and Showdowns that Built America's Cruise Ship Empires. (New York, NY: Viking, 384 p.). Cruise lines--United States; Cruise ships--United States; Ocean travel.

E.J. Hart (1983). The Selling of Canada: The CPR and the Beginnings of Canadian Tourism. (Banff, AB: Altitude Pub., 180 p.). Canadian Pacific Railway Company -- History; Tourism -- Canada -- History; Advertising -- Tourism -- Canada -- History; Canadian Rockies (B.C. and Alta.) -- Description and travel.

Victor T.C. Middleton with the late L.J. Lickoris (2005). British Tourism: The Remarkable Story of Growth. (Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann, 209 p.). Former chairman of the UK Tourism Society. Tourism--Great Britain. 

N.J. Morgan, Annette Pritchard (1999). Power and Politics at the Seaside: Development of Devon's Resorts in the 20th Century. (Exeter, UK: University of Exeter Press, 250 p.). Tourism -- Great Britain -- History; Development--Resorts. Political, power relations in modern seaside resort development in Devon - England's most popular domestic holiday destination; complex interplay between ideology, class, power and  consumption of landscape and place. 

Harvey K. Newman (1999). Southern Hospitality: Tourism and the Growth of Atlanta. (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 372 p.). Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Management and Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (Georgia State University). Tourism --Georgia --Atlanta --History; Hospitality industry --Georgia --Atlanta --History; Heritage tourism --Georgia --Atlanta --History; Atlanta (Ga.) --Social life and customs --History. How cultural tradition of hospitality has encouraged growth of Atlanta's convention and tourist industry, contributed to city's rapid development; people in central Atlanta (mostly African Americans) have not shared equally in region's growth.

Thomas J. Noel & Debra B. Faulkner (2010). Mile High Tourism: Denver’s Convention and Visitor History. (Denver, CO: Visit Denver, 164 p.). Denver, CO - history; Tourism --Colorado --History. 2008 - $3.1-billion in travel spending supported 65,000 jobs; Denver and Colorado’s second most important industry after manufacturing; builders and boosters (saloonkeepers and journalists, hotel keepers and museum guides, stagecoach drivers and 747 pilots, mayors and businesspeople) who tirelessly promoted Highest State; how Denver’s hundred-year old convention and tourist bureau grew into one of most respected, professional organizations of its kind in country; founded in 1909, after success of the first Democratic National Convention in Mile High City; sixth oldest convention bureau in nation.

Nicholas T. Parsons (2007). Worth the Detour: A History of the Guidebook. (Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 378 p.). Guidebooks--travel; Publishers and publishing--travel--history. History of guidebooks from medieval to modern times; mutation of genre over time: problem of authenticity, snobbery, political candor.

Hal K. Rothman (1998). Devil's Bargains: Tourism in the Twentieth-Century American West. (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 434 p.). Tourism--West (U.S.).

Eds. Philip Scranton and Janet F. Davidson (2006). The Business of Tourism: Place, Faith, and History. (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, 312 p.). Professor of History (Rutgers University); Historian at the Cape Fear Museum (Wilmington, NC). Tourism--Economic aspects; Tourism--Social aspects. Tourism as local, global enterprise from 1860s to1990s; cultural practice of tourism linked to businesses that create cultural experiences. 

Eds. Luciano Segreto, Carles Manera, and Manfred Pohl (2009). Europe at the Seaside: The Economic History of Mass Tourism in the Mediterranean. (New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 251 p.). Professor of Economic History and the History of International Economic Relations (University of Florence); Director of the Research Group on Economic History, Researcher in Charge of the Project Economic History of Mass Tourism in Spain, 1940-2000: the Balearic Islands and the Mediterranean Contrasts; Former Executive with Deutsche Bank (40 years), Founder and Chairman of the International Centre for Corporate Culture and History. Tourism --Mediterranean Region --History; Package tours --Mediterranean Region --History; Cruise lines --Mediterranean Region --History; Seaside resorts --Mediterranean Region --History. First study to scrutinize Mediterranean basin as whole, over long period; area's economic, social networks directly involved in tourism; economics of tourism in one of world s most visited destinations.

Anthony J. Stanonis (2006). Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 317 p.). Visiting Assistant Professor of History (Texas A&M University). Tourism--Louisiana--New Orleans--History; New Orleans (La.)--Description and travel. Volunteers, businessmen reframed their city as romantic, exotic tourist destination.  

Evan R. Ward (2008). Packaged Vacations: Tourism Development in the Spanish Caribbean. (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 236 p.). Assistant Professor of History (University of North Alabama). Tourism --Caribbean Area. Three themes in Caribbean tourism since World War II: 1) diminishing role of U.S. investors in developing, managing region's tourist industry, 2) increasing role of Spanish hotel, tourism companies, 3) increasing need for sustainable development in region's tourism industry; interplay between state promotion of tourism, private investment, marketing of decentralized tourism poles to appeal to domestic, foreign tourists.

Lynne Withey (1997). Grand Tours and Cooks' Tours: A History of Leisure Travel, 1750-1915. (New York, NY: Morrow, 401 p.). Voyages and travels--History.


Business History Links

Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change                                   

Established at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK in 2001, the CTCC is one of the leading international platforms for tourism research. Focus is on the multi-dimensional relationships which exist between tourism and culture(s). We aim to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the complexities of tourism as a global phenomenon at different social and political scales (through academic research, collaborative projects, consultancy, conferences, publications, professional development and postgraduate programmes).

How Space Tourism Works

This site introduces the space tourism industry, citing its first tourist adventurers, along with the training and costs involved. It includes summaries of several commercial space travel projects and ideas, including space stations for corporate communities and a national contest to develop reusable launch vehicles for transporting the public into space.


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