Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world, yet leisure travel is more than just economically important. It plays a vital role in defining who we are by helping to place us in space and time. In so doing, it has aesthetic, medical, political, cultural, and social implications. However, it hasn't always been so. Tourism as we know it is a surprisingly modern thing, both a product of modernity and a force helping to shape it. A History of Modern Tourism is the first book to track the origins and evolution of this pursuit from earliest times to the present. From a new understanding of aesthetics to scientific change, from the invention of steam power to the creation of aircraft, from an elite form of education to family car trips to see national 'shrines,' this book offers a sweeping and engaging overview of a fascinating story not yet widely known.