We celebrate National Tourism Week in the first week of May and this year, it takes place from May 1 to 7. It is a week where we remind ourselves of the importance of traveling and seeking some kind of escape from our normal lives. There is some truth to the saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” and traveling is an opportunity to make our lives more fun. During this week, we also celebrate the travel and tourism industry that strives to create memorable experiences for tourists. It also gives us an opportunity to reflect on how tourism helps boost the economy and highlights local cultures.
History of National Tourism Week
Tourism began with the idea of the Pilgrimage, originating in Eastern civilizations before spreading to Western. About 2,000 years ago, there were many pilgrimages to the early Buddhist sites, around what we currently know to be Nepal. Pilgrimages to Mecca were also a popular ritual that is still practiced to this day.
In the west, the custom of pilgrimage began to flourish from about 1660, and with the invention of different modes of transport, they followed a standard itinerary. This custom was seen as an educational opportunity and a rite of passage. This was reserved for the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry.
In the 18th century, after the invention of the railway, the Grand Tour became a popular tourist activity for upper-class students. The Grand Tour offered a journey to cultural sites in France, Germany, and Italy. Over the next few years, the tour encompassed many other European sites.
By the 19th century, journeys for health, leisure, and culture became common practice among the European middle classes and were ways for them to gain cultural capital. On these trips, people could socialize and also show their social standing. During this time, tourists got used to using guidebooks and travel companies that created itineraries. Tourism also brought about the development of art and souvenir markets, as well as transport and accommodation systems, like hotels and lodging.
From the 20th century onward, shipping lines also promoted international tourism. They encouraged tourists to take cruises and travel from the Norwegian fjords to the Caribbean. Between the World Wars, many upper-class Americans traveled by air and sea to a variety of destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America.
National Tourism Week timeline
Pilgrims visit the ancient Buddhist sites around what is currently known as Nepal.
In 1660, tourism is reserved for the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, and is seen as a rite of passage.
The Grand Tour becomes a popular tourist activity for upper-class European students, offering a journey to cultural sites in France, Germany, and Italy.
Shipping lines promote international tourism by encouraging tourists to take the cruise and travel from the Norwegian fjords to the Caribbean.
National Tourism Week FAQs
What are the three types of tourism?
Domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism.
What is the most expensive type of tourism?
Space tourism. That’s why only billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are doing it.
What is the most expensive place to go in the world?
Switzerland is the most expensive country in the world to visit. From the airfare rates to the hotel costs, it will cost you an average of $241.60 per day.
National Tourism Week Activities
Take your sabbatical
It’s time for you to stop delaying your very well-deserved vacation. Go and explore the world!
Bond with family
Traveling is a great way to make fond memories with your family members. Plan a family trip where you all get to reconnect.
Post on social media
If you don’t post on social media, did you even go on a trip? Don’t forget to share your travel pictures with others.
5 Interesting Facts About Tourism
The world’s longest commercial flight
The world’s longest commercial flight from Australia to Sri Lanka took around 30 hours, with passengers seeing the sunrise twice.
The shortest commercial flight in the world
Operating between the neighboring islands of Westray and Papa Westray in Scotland, this flight takes less than two minutes.
No same-meal policy
Pilots and co-pilots do not eat the same meal before a flight in case they become sick.
The most expensive airport taxi
The airport-to-city taxi ride from Tokyo’s Narita Airport costs around £190 one way.
The most populated transport system
The trains in India transport around 23 million passengers every day — that’s equal to the entire population of Australia.
Why We Love National Tourism Week
It encourages self-care
As important as work is, it is equally important to indulge in leisure. We must all treat ourselves.
It helps the economy
Travel results in a lot of tourism for a city. This helps boost the economy and keeps restaurants, hotels, and other recreational services running.
It highlights local cultures
Tourism helps local communities showcase their different art and cultures. It allows them to profit off of their craftsmanship.
National Tourism Week dates