The term tourism can refer either to the act of traveling for pleasure, or to the business of attracting, entertaining, and accomodating tourists. Tourism is an enormous industry; in 2014 alone, the United States generated upwards of $175 billion from tourism-related business alone.
At early points in history, tourism was almost exclusively a practice of the upper class, as anyone below such station lacked the means required to travel to distant parts of the world. Around the time of the middle ages, pilgrimages were becoming common for the middle and lower classes. While the journey that they took was usually for a health-related or spiritual purpose, the traveler would end up seeing the sights along the way. So while a pilgrimage was not a leisure activity, there were still some touristy aspects of it along the way.
Tourism started becoming widespread around the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, when the methods to easily transport people across continents and around the globe were truly established, including rail systems and accesible water travel. This is also when the United Kingdom started promoting leisure time to it's industrial population.
The first officially established travel company was Cox & Kings, formed in 1758 by Richard Cox. Cox & Kings started out handling transport for military needs, such as the requisition of supplies or the shipment of personal effects.
If you're living in Victoria BC, tourism related information, including tourist hotspots, activities, and accomodations can be found by viewing our member offers below.