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The Escape Industry

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The Escape Industry

How Iconic and Innovative Brands Built the Travel Business

Kogan Page,

15 min read
10 take-aways
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The allure of adventure is evergreen, and the travel industry never stops evolving.

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  • Overview
  • Background
  • Concrete Examples


The travel industry has fostered globetrotting dreams since the inception of tourism. How the industry sells travel always shifts – driven by technological innovations and changing consumer tastes. British journalist and marketing expert Mark Tungate argues that these changes aren’t reactive – they’re proactive. He credits visionary, ambitious travel professionals with creating the most significant evolutions in tourism. They take new developments in hand, build on them and move the industry forward. Tungate explores how various sectors of the travel industry have been transformed since the 18th century, and how some important brands started or nurtured new niches over the years.


By the 1800s, wealthy Englishmen commonly took a “Grand Tour” of Europe. 

The travel industry evolved in the 18th century with the advent of the “Grand Tour,” a once-in-a-lifetime educational tour of Europe for wealthy young Englishmen. The predecessors of modern luxury hotels, like the Hôtel Dessin, sprang up to house travelers after their crossing from England to France. Concessions developed to help travelers handle the logistics of traveling from Paris to Italy and over the Alps.

Initially, porters carried travelers up the mountains on sedan chairs and pulled them down on sleds, but by the early 19th century, alpine nations constructed roads through the mountains. The Grand Tour developed in the United States from New York City to Niagara Falls. The advent of steam power in the early 1800s led to luxury riverboat trips to New Orleans. The transcontinental railroad, completed in 1869, allowed cross-country travel for business or pleasure in as few as six weeks. 

As travel agencies grew, Thomas Cook’s temperance trips launched “package” tourism...

About the Author

British journalist and Mark Tungate also wrote Fashion Brands and Adland. His articles have appeared in CampaignAdvertising Age, the Financial Times and The Daily Telegraph.

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