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The history of modern tourism began on 5 July 1841, when a train carrying 500 factory workers travelled from Leicester to Loughborough, twelve miles away, to attend a meeting about the dangers of alcohol.

This modest excursion was organized by Thomas Cook, a young man with neither money nor formal education. His motive was not profit, but social reform. Cook believed that the social problems of Britain were caused by widespread alcoholism. He believed, travel would broaden the mind and distract people from drinking.

The success of Cook's first excursion led to others, and the success of the business was phenomenal. In 1851, Cook launched his own monthly newsletter, Cook’s Exhibition Herald and Excursion Advertiser, the world’s first travel magazine; by 1872, the newsletter was selling 100,000 copies а month and its founder was treated as a hero of the modern industrial age.

When Thomas Cook reached the age of sixty-three, there was still one challenge ahead of him: to travel round the globe. The idea of travelling 'to Egypt via China' seemed impossible to most Victorians. Cook knew otherwise. In 1869 two things happened that would make an overland journey possible: the opening of the Suez Canal and the completion of a railroad network that linked the continent of America from coast to coast.

He set off from Liverpool on the steamship Oceanic, bound for New York. Throughout his travels, his traditional views affected most of what he saw, including the American railroad system. Although impressed by its open carriages, sleeping cars, on-board toilets and efficient baggage handling, he was shocked that men and women were not required to sleep in separate carriages.

Japan delighted him. It was a land of 'great beauty and rich fertility,' where the hotels served 'the best roast beef we have tasted since we left England'. Cook and his party toured the city of Yokohama in a caravan of rickshaws. “We created quite a sensation”, he wrote.

Cook's love of Japan was equalled only by his hatred of China. Shanghai, the next port of call, offered "narrow and filthy streets which were full of ‘pestering and festering beggars'. After twenty-four hours there, Cook had seen enough.

He travelled to Singapore and as he set off across the Bay of Bengal, Cook was full of confidence, feeling that he understood 'this business of pleasure'. But nothing he had seen in Shanghai could have prepared him for the culture shock of India.

He wrote:’’ At the holy city of Benares we were conducted through centers of filth and obscenity”. From the deck of a boat on the Ganges he saw the people washing dead bodies, before burning them on funeral piles beside the river. He found these scenes “revolting in the extreme”.

By the time Cook left Bombay for Egypt, he was showing signs of tiredness. On 15 February 1873, while crossing the Red Sea, he wrote to The Times that he would not travel round the world again. “After thirty-two years of traveling, with the view of making traveling easy, cheap, and safe for others I ought to rest “. In Cairo, he felt seriously ill for the first time.

Cook arrived home in England after 222 days abroad. Although he never attempted another world tour, he continued to escort parties of tourists to continental Europe throughout the 1870s, and did not cease his seasonal visits to Egypt until the late 1880s. He died in July 1892 at the age of eighty-three.


EXERCISE 3. Cook visited many places. The following place names are mixed up. Reorder the letters in each word and write the place names in the order he visited them. The first one has been done for you.

Bya fo Baglne Bersean

Sapierogn Bmoyab

Lerolovpi Shaiagnh

Crioa Nwe Ykro

Egdnaln Jnpaa

Rde Sae


1. Liverpool


3. _______________________








11. _______________________.

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