The Escape Industry looks at the origins, evolution and continued growth of the travel and tourism industry from the grand tours of the 19th century, the legendary era of the Ritz and Orient Express and the modern landscape of low cost airlines, online travel agents and increasingly discerning consumers.
The Escape Industry by Mark Turngate
The Escape Industry is an accessible and informative history of travel and tourism.
Looking at the evolving nature of tourism, Turngate profiles the eccentric visionaries behind some of the world’s best known travel brands including Thomas Cook, Conrad Hilton, Cesar Ritz, Juan Trippe and Sam Cunard.
Published in 2018, The Escape Industry is an excellent overview of one of the world’s most important industries with plenty of insightful lessons to learn for those planning to make money from travel and tourism as it continues to grow on the back of expanded global interest.
Below are some of the key insights from the book.
- The earliest origins of travel and tourism trace their roots back to the grand tours of the 18th century which predominantly catered to wealthy male travellers.
- As interest grew, artists, writers and entrepreneurs catered to the public imagination and established the earliest tourist industries.
- The advent of steam saw the establishment of spa towns across Europe and an influx of wealthy tourists from the United States.
- Thomas Cook was an early pioneer of mass tourism inventing package holidays and travellers cheques.
- Grand hotels emerged in this era becoming destination resorts for wealthy travellers and increasingly cater to this status today.
- Cesar Ritz, the famous entrepreneur, built his reputation on networking with prestige clientele and building palatial hotels for emerging artists and their patrons.
- Similarly, George Nagelmackers pioneered the concept of luxury train travel by investing his Orient Express with an air of mystery, romance and allure.
- The cruise industry developed from Cunard/White Star steamships crossing the Atlantic to Royal Carribean / Carnival pleasure boats cruising around the carribean.
- The earliest airline pioneers focussed on the pilots while Pan-Am moved from seaplanes to jumbo jets, establishing the prestige of flight attendants and the jet set.
- Conrad Hilton, JW Marriot and other hotel pioneers quickly realised the importance of maximising space, maintaining brand loyalty and professionalising customer service.
- Morgans Hotel in NYC opened in 1984 is considered the first ‘boutique’ hotel signalling changing consumer preferences that are now reshaping the travel industry with the rise of poshtels and boutique hotels.
- Southwest Airlines pioneered the now familiar low cost model which exploded in Europe with the rise of Easyjet, Ryanair after the deregulation of eurospace airspace.
- From the 1990s onwards, the internet has reshaped travel with the growth of meta search engines, online travel agents and disruptive models like Airbnb.
- Travel guides such as Lonely Planet and Rough Guides have grown from cottage industry to mass publication and then finally evolved into struggling digital publishers.
- Ethical and environmental concerns are increasingly shaping the tourism industry catering to travellers who are conscious of the impact of their journey.
- The advent of space tourism looks very much like the early pioneers of aviation and the cruise industry with a few eccentric entrepreneurs like Bezos, Musk and Branson leading the charge.