“What is travel?” is a common question, as people move from point A to point B, across the nation, the world or even the region. The most common mode of travel is probably via air. Airlines are one of the great innovations of modern commercial aviation, but they have been around for quite a while. Early air travelers relied on map and compass, as well as local knowledge and the instinct of adventure.
Traveling is basically the motion of people from point A to point B. Travel can be undertaken by foot, car, train, plane, bicycle, bus, boat, horseback, bicycle, etc., and is one manner or another used by almost everyone in some form or another every day. Commercial airline travel has experienced a major boost in the last several decades with the widespread availability of airfare, combined with the growth of online ticket purchasing, and package-buying opportunities through various third party websites. However, for the traveler who wishes to truly experience traveling at its best, there are many ways to go about it.
One way to define travel meaning is to examine what we mean by “travel.” In its simplest form, travel involves leaving one’s home and traveling to some distant geographic location. Thus, traveling by land, sea or air means leaving one’s house. Land traveling is usually accompanied by air traveling. Air traveling often includes flying, although it can also include swimming, skiing and other sports. Boating and fishing are also forms of air travel.
In more complex terms, travel can take many forms. Business travel, for example, involves meeting with business leaders and visiting key business cities. Meeting business leaders is not limited to board meetings; rather, business travel can take place in many different settings, including conference meetings, retreats, seminars, training sessions, and workshops. Similarly, a cruise vacation can be defined as a trip taken on a ship to a variety of ports and destinations. Cruises tend to be very long journeys, sometimes taking several weeks, and the length of a cruise can range significantly. A grand tour, however, encompasses a more encompassing trip, often spanning several countries or regions.
A grand tour, then, can encompass any traveling activity that brings the traveler to different locations or to different parts of the same country or region. It would also be more accurate to say that tourism can encompass any traveling activity that takes the traveler to different, distant geographic locations. Thus, trips to the Old French Quarter in New Orleans or the frozen wastes of the north poles would not be considered tourism. The word tourism, therefore, refers to any traveling activity that allows the traveler to get away from the familiar and to view, feel, touch and experience the unfamiliar. This definition can apply to academic travel, business travel, or to leisure travel. All of these types of travel to allow the traveler to expand and deepen their own horizons.
In today’s world, however, it is not uncommon for people to travel from one place to another, whether to visit friends and family, to explore a new place, or to compete in an international competition. As technology has developed, however, the way we have come to travel has changed radically. For example, if one person wants to go skiing, they may instead take a day trip up to Whistler, BC, where world-class skiing facilities await them. Likewise, if a person wants to take a night trip to Paris, they can choose to take a Eurostar train from St Pancras International Station, London to Paris. Regardless, of why people travel, the overall purpose of travel is to enrich one’s own life, so it should not be too difficult to define the term “tourism.”