Tourism is a $4 trillion-a-year industry, affecting more than 200 million jobs, or 1 in 10 workers. But tourism actually is an old industry, dating back to the first Olympics in 776BC. Even in ancient Rome it was popular to travel up the Nile to Thebes to view the statues.
Trips used to be organized by individuals or small groups who accompanied their guests. In 1758, Cox & Kings became the world’s first travel agency – not necessarily escorting the travelers to their destination. Thomas Cook (1808 – 1892) also took large groups on tour and then founded his company in the 1860s. The first travel agency in the United States was founded in 1887 by Walter T. Brownell.
Tourism is the biggest industry in most countries – except the United States, where entertainment is the biggest industry.