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Ancient International Tourism

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QUESTION: Is it true that tourism existed in ancient times? I was in Italy and the guide said this was an ancient tradition.

ANSWER: Augustus (27 BC-14 AD) wiped the Mediterranean clean of pirates, making international travel possible for more than just trade. The roads and highways were safe for travel, and a viable hotel (inn) industry emerged along with tour guides. People have always been fascinated by the ancient world’s wonders. Romans were tourists exploring Italy, Greece, Asia Minor (now Turkey), and Egypt. This is most likely the earliest international tourist industry. Local tourism existed even before the Romans.