The growth of the tourist industry in the UK

The growth of the tourist industry in the UK

As industrialization took hold in the 19th century people gradually started to earn higher wages and the wealth started to be spread around. People were now able to save some money each month, and often they would spend this money on their annual family holiday. During the 19th century a number of coastal resorts were created. In the north-west of the country large numbers of people would flock to Blackpool. These people would come from the surrounding industrial conurbations such as Manchester and Birmingham. In the south of the country Londoners would travel to nearby Margate and Brighton. As the transport network of the country improved people started to travel further. The South West became popular and would attract tourists from all over the country often arriving by train. In 1841 Thomas Cook started organizing trips away to resorts on trains. As the car became more affordable people became even more flexible visiting different parts of the county such as the Lake District and even Snowdonia.

Blackpool tower has attracted millions of visitors over the years

People now started to venture away from traditional holiday resorts by investing in tents, or even hitching a caravan on the back of their car. The freedom people now had meant that any part of the country was accessible with campsites springing up everywhere. Landowners identified a way that they could make money very easily, while only having to invest in limited facilities. From camping entrepreneurs identified that this type of holiday could be evolved further and from camping the holiday camps emerged. This camps proved increasingly popular up to, and just after, the Second World War. The advancement in commercial air travel had a major impact on tourism in the UK. On the positive side people were now able to visit the country from overseas and visit many of the sites that had historical interest.

This was balanced out by the fact that many of the country’s workers could now afford to purchase a flight and go on holiday abroad where they would be

Thomas Cook transferring another group of tourists

virtually assured of warmer weather than they would if they were to holiday at home. Numerous travel agencies were created to take advantage of this new business. In many parts of Europe, such as Spain, Greece and France new resorts were springing up to take advantage of the golden beaches, the warm waters, the hot sun and of course a different culture that could be explored. The beauty of these European areas was that they were relatively close by. They were quick to get to and chartered flights could be purchased cheaply. This was the start of the package holidays which often included flights, transfers, and accommodation. Horizon Holiday Group were the first holiday company to organize the packages overseas, and they were soon joined by Thomas Cook and other companies. The competition of this mass tourism meant that the prices dropped even further and new more adventurous resorts were being created. As planes became larger holidays were being organized in locations at the furthest ends of the planet. Tourism was just limited to the summer months as people could now find winter sun in the southern hemisphere. The resorts also started to emerge in the European upland areas to take advantage of winter skiing. Greater affluence in the country meant that families could now afford a winter and a summer holiday, and families would not just be attracted to the ski areas in Europe, with ski holidays being made available in the United States and Canada. Today people have a huge variety of choice in what type of holiday that choose from year to year. As well as travelling by plane people can also be transported on the seas and rivers by boats while others may choose to partake in walking and even cycling holidays. The tourism industry has also proved attractive in education. There is hardly a school in the country that does not promote extra-curricular activities and these trips can range from partaking in a three week rugby tour to New Zealand, to surviving in a tent overnight in a remote field while completing a Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Tourism has had a major impact on the entertainment industry.


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