For the past six months, we have been sadly looking at photos from past vacations and counting the days until the borders open. But even relatively recently, most people did not leave their hometown or village at all - and did not even feel a special need for it. How and why has attitudes towards travel changed? Who invented mass tourism and what package tours were trending 200 years ago?
On July 5, 1841, 33-year-old British preacher Thomas Cook organized for 570 members of the local temperance society (which he himself led) a collective trip from Leicester to Loughborough to a quarterly meeting of the Association of teetotalers in the southern counties of Central England.
The locals liked the idea, and "excursions for a shilling" became regular. True, then Cook did not yet consider this as a business - it was more important for him to organize interesting leisure activities for the parishioners that would distract them from drunkenness. The resourceful priest did not receive any benefits from his enterprise, the minimum price of excursions barely covered the costs. But the demand for travel was so great that over time he nevertheless created a travel agency - the first in history.
This is how the tourist services market was born. Of course, people have traveled to unfamiliar places before in search of new experiences, but it was Cook who came up with the organized group commercial tours and schemes that are still in demand today. First, he invented the “package tour” format itself, when the client, having paid a fixed amount, received a “turnkey” trip: travel, accommodation, meals and excursion services were already included in the price. Second, Cook has built relationships with carriers and hoteliers. Both the railroad companies and the hotels willingly provided discounted rates to his groups. In the end, everyone won. Transport companies and the host received a smooth flow of customers, and organized trips were much cheaper for travelers than independent trips. All this provoked a rapid growth in mass tourism.
Of course, it was not only about Cook's organizational talents - it was just that by that time all the conditions for the emergence of a new type of business were in place. First of all, the development of transport: shaking in stagecoaches on country roads is a dubious pleasure. Now it was possible to get to any part of the country quickly, cheaply, safely and comfortably. And secondly (and most importantly!), The standard of living has increased. Since the middle of the 19th century, English trade unions have gradually sought higher wages, reduced working hours, weekends, and in some places even vacations, and qualified employees finally have time and money for entertainment.
However, Cook's merits should not be underestimated either. In just a few years, he created so many popular travel products that any modern tour agency would welcome him into its state with open arms.
The enterprising Englishman even managed to convince representatives of the British aristocracy to open castles and estates for visits by organized groups. In general, he was a talented negotiator and bargained for special conditions for his clients, thereby maintaining affordable prices for vouchers.
The next step was international tourism. Soon, Cook's bureau offered dozens of "packages" to different parts of the world: pilgrimage trips (for Christians - to the Holy Land, for Muslims from the colonies - to Mecca), health trips to the Swiss and Italian Alps, river cruises on the Nile, exotic trips to India and whole "continental tours", which included visiting a dozen European cities at once.
The routes are impressive today, and for Cook's contemporaries, it was all tantamount to flying to the moon. However, thanks to the impeccable reputation of the company, people went on his tours without fear. They knew that Cook had personally checked almost all of his routes (including the round-the-world one) and that the convenience and safety of these trips were guaranteed. For example, the first group of 60 pilgrims to the Holy Land was accompanied by 77 armed guards, and 87 pack horses were loaded with all kinds of food and belongings, so that even far from their homeland, Europeans were surrounded by their usual comfort.
Primorsky Krai is a developing region with a character unlike the rest of Russia. Our forests, islands, beaches, reserves, our people with souls salted by the sea winds and kind hearts, our relief, making two-storey houses higher than ten-storey ones - all this creates an individual image of Primorsky Krai, which is so attractive for tourists.